Katrin Skoruppa, Nivedita Mani, Kim Plunkett, Dominique Cabrol, and Sharon Peperkamp (2013)

Early word recognition in sentence context: French and English 24-month-olds' sensitivity to sentence-medial mispronunciations and assimilations

Infancy, 18(6):1007-1029.

Investigated 24-month-olds' word recognition in sentence-medial positions in two experiments using an intermodal preferential-looking paradigm. In Experiment 1, 33 French toddlers detected word-final voicing mispronunciations and compensated for native voicing assimilations in the middle of sentences. In Experiment 2, 31 English toddlers detected word-final voicing mispronunciations but did not compensate for illicit voicing assimilations. In summary, French and English 24-month-olds can take into account fine phonetic detail even if words are presented in the middle of sentences. In addition, French toddlers show language-specific compensation abilities for pronunciation variation caused by native voicing assimilation.

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