Nivedita Mani and Kim Plunkett (2010)

Twelve-month-olds know their cups from their keps and tups

Infancy, 15(5):445-470.

14-month-olds are sensitive to mispronunciations of the vowels and consonants in familiar words. To examine the development of this sensitivity further, the current study tests 12-month-olds' sensitivity to different kinds of vowel and consonant mispronunciations of familiar words. The results reveal that vocalic changes influence word recognition, irrespective of the kinds of vocalic changes made. While consonant changes influenced word recognition in a similar manner, this was restricted to place and manner of articulation changes. Infants did not display sensitivity to voicing changes. Infants' sensitivity to vowel mispronunciations, but not consonant mispronunciations, was influenced by their vocabulary size - infants with larger vocabularies were more sensitive to vowel mispronunciations than infants with smaller vocabularies. The results are discussed in terms of different models attempting to chart the development of acoustically or phonologically specified representations of words during infancy.