This study aimed to investigate specific associations between structural and acoustic characteristics of infant-directed (ID) speech and word recognition. Thirty Italian-acquiring children and their mothers were tested when the children were 1;3. Children’s word recognition was measured with the looking-while-listening task. Maternal ID speech was recorded during a mother–child interaction session and analyzed in terms of amount of speech, lexical and syntactic complexity, positional salience of nouns and verbs, high pitch and variation, and temporal characteristics. The analyses revealed that final syllable length positively predicts children’s accuracy in word recognition whereas the use of verbs in the utterance-final position has an adverse effect on children’s performance. Several of the expected associations between ID speech features and children’s word recognition skills, however, were not significant. Taken together, these findings suggest that only specific structural and acoustic properties of ID speech can facilitate word recognition in children, thereby fostering their ability to extrapolate sound patterns from the stream and map them with their referents.

Relationships between structural and acoustic properties of maternal talk and children’s early word recognition

Spinelli, Maria;Fasolo, Mirco
2017-01-01

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate specific associations between structural and acoustic characteristics of infant-directed (ID) speech and word recognition. Thirty Italian-acquiring children and their mothers were tested when the children were 1;3. Children’s word recognition was measured with the looking-while-listening task. Maternal ID speech was recorded during a mother–child interaction session and analyzed in terms of amount of speech, lexical and syntactic complexity, positional salience of nouns and verbs, high pitch and variation, and temporal characteristics. The analyses revealed that final syllable length positively predicts children’s accuracy in word recognition whereas the use of verbs in the utterance-final position has an adverse effect on children’s performance. Several of the expected associations between ID speech features and children’s word recognition skills, however, were not significant. Taken together, these findings suggest that only specific structural and acoustic properties of ID speech can facilitate word recognition in children, thereby fostering their ability to extrapolate sound patterns from the stream and map them with their referents.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/683592
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