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Frequency and form as determinants of functor sensitivity in English-acquiring infants

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Cutler,  Anne
Language Comprehension Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Phonological Learning for Speech Perception, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Shi_2006_frequency.pdf
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Citation

Shi, R., Cutler, A., Werker, J., & Cruickshank, M. (2006). Frequency and form as determinants of functor sensitivity in English-acquiring infants. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(6), EL61-EL67. doi:10.1121/1.2198947.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-17BA-7
Abstract
High-frequency functors are arguably among the earliest perceived word forms and may assist extraction of initial vocabulary items. Canadian 11- and 8-month-olds were familiarized to pseudo-nouns following either a high-frequency functor the or a low-frequency functor her versus phonetically similar mispronunciations of each, kuh and ler, and then tested for recognition of the pseudo-nouns. A preceding the (but not kuh, her, ler)facilitated extraction of the pseudo-nouns for 11-month-olds; the is thus well-specified in form for these infants. However, both the and kuh (but not her-ler )f aciliated segmentation or 8-month-olds, suggesting an initial underspecified representation of high-frequency functors.