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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/446

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Title: Diminutives facilitate word segmentation in natural speech: cross-linguistic evidence
Authors: Kempe, Vera
Brooks, Patricia J.
Gillis, Stephen
Samson, Graham
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social and Health Sciences
Keywords: Word segmentation
Language perception
Issue Date: Jun-2007
Publisher: Psychonomic Society
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: Published version (c)Psychonomic Society, available from http://mc.psychonomic-journals.org/content/35/4/762.abstract
Citation: Kempe, V., et al. 2007. Diminutives facilitate word segmentation in natural speech: cross-linguistic evidence. Memory & Cognition. 35(4): pp.762-773.
Abstract: Final-syllable invariance is characteristic of diminutives (e.g., doggie), which are a pervasive feature of the child-directed speech registers of many languages. Invariance in word endings has been shown to facilitate word segmentation (Kempe, Brooks, & Gillis, 2005) in an incidental-learning paradigm in which synthesized Dutch pseudonouns were used. To broaden the cross-linguistic evidence for this invariance effect and to increase its ecological validity, adult English speakers (n = 276) were exposed to naturally spoken Dutch or Russian pseudonouns presented in sentence contexts. A forced choice test was given to assess target recognition, with foils comprising unfamiliar syllable combinations in Experiments 1 and 2 and syllable combinations straddling word boundaries in Experiment 3. A control group (n = 210) received the recognition test with no prior exposure to targets. Recognition performance improved with increasing final-syllable rhyme invariance, with larger increases for the experimental group. This confirms that word ending invariance is a valid segmentation cue in artificial, as well as naturalistic, speech and that diminutives may aid segmentation in a number of languages.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/446
ISSN: 0090-502X
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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