By Barry F Carlson
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Additional info for A grammar of Spokan : a Salish language of eastern Washington
Such a developmental pattern cannot be accounted for within a simple performance model (Smolensky, 1996). Because children produce highly variable and inaccurate word forms it is difﬁcult to determine exactly how much they “know” about the words they attempt. For example, does a child who consistently uses consonant harmony nevertheless have the correct underlying representation of the word, with two distinct consonants? Word recognition studies suggest that children become increasingly focused on phonetic detail as their experience of the language increases.
This learning occurs very early: within days of birth infants attend more to their own mother’s voice, to the prosody of infant-directed speech (IDS, or “baby talk”), based on its exaggerated rhythm and pitch contours, and to the prosody of the ambient language in conversational speech. By 2 months infants respond to changes in both pitch and duration and discriminate syllables in three-syllable patterns as long as IDS prosody is used. By 4 months, infants attend more to their own name than to others (Mandel, Jusczyk, 28 phonology in context and Pisoni, 1995) and listen longer to running speech presented in IDS prosody with clauses that are phonologically coherent (not interrupted).
Prepositions and articles) versus lexical (content) words, presumably based upon prosodic and segmental cues, such as shorter vowel durations, weaker amplitudes, and simpliﬁed syllable structures in function words (Shi, Werker, and Morgan, 1999). These capacities extend to discrimination of segmental differences. Human neonates already respond differentially to different vowels. , [m] versus [b]). Although some discriminatory abilities are present at birth, other speech discrimination abilities may require learning.