- The effect of phonotactic probability and neighbourhood density on pseudoword learning in 6- and 7-year-old children
- First Language
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The aim of this study was to examine the influence of phonotactic probability (PP) and neighbourhood density (ND) on pseudoword learning in 17 Dutch-speaking typically developing children (mean age 7;2). They were familiarized with 16 one-syllable pseudowords varying in PP (high vs low) and ND (high vs low) via a storytelling procedure. The participants were tested on their production and comprehension of the pseudowords on three testing sessions: immediately after training, after a consolidation period without further training and after a one week retention period during which one more training session was given. The results show that both in production and comprehension PP had a significant influence on pseudowords with low ND: pseudowords in the condition with converging characteristics (low PP – low ND) were learned significantly better than those in the high PP – low ND condition. No effect of PP was found for pseudowords high in ND. These results give cross-linguistic support for earlier English findings that convergent PP/ND (low PP – low ND) facilitates triggering word learning in children.
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