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Title: You Can Say That Again: The Influence of Repetition Across Successive Utterances on Word Segmentation in 8- and 9-month-old Infants
Authors: Kwong, Julie
Advisors: Lew-Williams, Casey
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Infant directed speech (IDS) has been shown to be important for segmentation of speech, but exactly which features are most important for this early language learning in infants is less clear. Repetition, a quality which has been shown to exist in naturally-occurring IDS (e.g. Johnson, Lahey, Ernestus, & Cutler, 2013; Onnis, Edelman, & Waterfall, 2008; Küntay & Slobin, 2002), specifically influences word segmentation in infants. Prior studies have found that repetition of words across successive utterances benefits adults’ word segmentation ability (Onnis et al., 2008) and children’s word learning (Schwab & Lew-Williams, in press). The present study investigates the importance of partial repetition in sentential language input on word segmentation abilities of 8- and 9-month-olds. Infants were familiarized with language that contained either partial repetition of target nouns across successive sentences (Structured) or the same sentences with target nouns distributed across the learning phase (Unstructured). The present results indicate that infants in the Structured condition – but not the Unstructured condition – successfully segmented words from fluent speech, listening significantly longer to target than non-target words following the learning phase. However, follow-up studies should test a larger sample in order to increase statistical power. These findings provide insight into the effect of hearing repetition across successive sentences on infants’ ability to segment words from fluent speech.
Extent: 48 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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