Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
Home
Research
vision Vision
action Action
speech Speech
avoc AVoC
support support staff
People
Former Staff
Teaching
Publications
Ethics
Events
Practical

Calendar
Opportunities
Internships
Contracts
Platforms
Links

Baby Lab

Intranet
Call me Alix, not Elix: Vowels are more important than consonants in own name recognition at 5 months

Consonants and vowels differ acoustically and articulatorily, but also functionally: Consonants are more relevant for lexical processing, and vowels for prosodic/syntactic processing. These functional biases could be powerful bootstrapping mechanisms for learning language, but their developmental origin remains unclear. The relative importance of consonants and vowels at the onset of lexical acquisition was assessed in French-learning 5-month-olds by testing sensitivity to minimal phonetic changes in their own name. Infants’ reactions to mispronunciations revealed sensitivity to vowel but not consonant changes. Vowels were also more salient (on duration and intensity) but less distinct (on spectrally based measures) than consonants. Lastly, vowel (but not consonant) mispronunciation detection was modulated by acoustic factors, in particular spectrally based distance. hese results establish that consonant changes do not affect lexical recognition at 5 months, while vowel changes do; the consonant bias observed later in development does not emerge until after 5 months through additional language exposure.



PDF Link