Infants’ developing sensitivity to native language phonotactics: A Meta-analysis
Megha Sundara, Z.L. Zhou, Canaan Breiss, Hironori Katsuda, Jeremy Steffman
December 2021
 

We used Bayesian modeling to aggregate experiments investigating infants’ sensitivity to native language phonotactics. Our findings were based on data from 83 experiments on about 2000 infants, learning 8 languages tested using 4 different methods. Our results showed that, unlike with artificial languages, infants do exhibit sensitivity to native language phonotactic patterns in a lab setting. However, the exact developmental trajectory depends on the phonotactic pattern being tested. Before 8 months, infants tuned into non-local dependencies between vowels: specifically, vowel harmony. Between 8- and 10-months, infants demonstrated a consistent sensitivity to both local and non-local consonant dependencies. Sensitivity to non-local vowel dependencies that are not based on harmony emerged only after 10-months. These findings provide a benchmark for future experimental and computational research on the acquisition of phonotactics.
Format: [ docx ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006108
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted at Cognition
keywords: phonotactics, meta-analysis, acquisition, development, vowel harmony, sonority sequencing, phonology
previous versions: v1 [July 2021]
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