The Beginnings of Word Segmentation in English-Learning Infants

  title={The Beginnings of Word Segmentation in English-Learning Infants},
  author={Peter W. Jusczyk and Derek M. Houston and Mary R. Newsome},
  journal={Cognitive Psychology},
A series of 15 experiments was conducted to explore English-learning infants' capacities to segment bisyllabic words from fluent speech. The studies in Part I focused on 7.5 month olds' abilities to segment words with strong/weak stress patterns from fluent speech. The infants demonstrated an ability to detect strong/weak target words in sentential contexts. Moreover, the findings indicated that the infants were responding to the whole words and not to just their strong syllables. In Part II, a… 

English-learning infants’ segmentation of trisyllabic words from fluent speech

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The results establish the early emergence of verb segmentation in English and generalizes previous reports of early segmentation to a new lexical class, thereby providing additional evidence that segmentation is likely to contribute to lexical acquisition.

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Electrophysiological evidence of the beginnings of weak-strong word segmentation in Dutch 10-month-olds is presented and it is provided that Dutch infants still largely rely on strong syllables, even for the segmentation of strong-strong words.

How infants begin to extract words from speech

  • P. Jusczyk
  • Linguistics
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 1999

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A series of three experiments explored infants' preference for Strong-Weak versus Weak-Strong lists, but systematically manipulated the syllable weight of Strong syllables suggested that surface linguistic patterns and the principles that underlie them may be independent in early language acquisition.

The predominance of strong initial syllables in the English vocabulary

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No listening preference for legal over illegal word boundary clusters was found in this experiment, which clearly suggests that the preferential patterns observed can be attributed to the infants’ sensitivity to phonotactic constraints on word boundaries in a given language and not to suprasegmental cues.

Infants' sensitivity to phonotactic patterns in the native language.

Abstract There is increasing evidence that during the latter half of their first year, infants begin learning about the organization of sound patterns in their native language. The present study

Infants’ sensitivity to allophonic cues for word segmentation

A series of four experiments was conducted to determine whether English-learning infants can use allophonic cues to word boundaries to segment words from fluent speech and what implications these findings have for understanding how word segmentation skills develop.

The perception of rhythmic units in speech by infants and adults.

Abstract Three studies investigated the perception of rhythmic units in speech to explore the potential role of rhythm in word-level segmentation. Experiment 1 investigated whether adults expect