4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

Developmental Change in Perception of Clause Boundaries by 6- and 10-Month-old Japanese Infants

Akiko Hayashi (1), Yuji Tamekawa (1), Toshisada Deguchi (1), Shigeru Kiritani (2)

(1) Faculty of Education, Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo, Japan
(2) Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan

Present study investigated whether Japanese infants are sensitive to acoustic cues of clausal units in Japanese speech. Groups of 6- and 10-month-old infants were tested using the headturn preference procedure (HPP). Two types of speech samples (child-directed speech) were examined: "Coincident" samples were created by inserting one- second pauses at all clause boundary locations, and "Noncoincident" samples were created by inserting the same number of pauses between words within clauses. Preferences were determined by assessing the listening times for each 12 samples (6 of each type). For the 6-month-old infants, there was no difference in the listening times between the two stimulus types. For the 10-month-old infants, however, the listening time for the "Noncoincident" samples was significantly longer than that for the "Coincident" samples. These results indicate that Japanese clauses are not perceptual units for very young infants, but Japanese infants come to be sensible to the clausal units up lo 10-month-old.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hayashi, Akiko / Tamekawa, Yuji / Deguchi, Toshisada / Kiritani, Shigeru (1996): "Developmental change in perception of clause boundaries by 6- and 10-month-old Japanese infants", In ICSLP-1996, 1565-1568.