INTERSPEECH 2006 - ICSLP
Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 17-21, 2006

Infants’ Ability to Extract Verbs from Continuous Speech

Ellen Marklund, Francisco Lacerda

Stockholm University, Sweden

Early language acquisition is a result of the infant’s general associative and memory processes in combination with its’ ecological surroundings. Extracting a part of a continuous speech signal and associate it to for instance an object, is made possible by the structure provided by characteristically repetitive Infant Directed Speech. The parents adjust the way they speak to their infant based on the response they are given, which in turn is dependent on the infant’s age and cognitive development.

It seems probable that the ability to extract lexical candidates referring to visually presented actions is developed at a later stage than the ability to extract lexical candidates referring to visually presented objects-actions are more abstract and there is a time aspect involved. Using the Visual Preference Paradigm, the ability to extract lexical candidates referring to actions was studied in infants at the age of 4 to 8 months. The results suggest that while the ability at this age is not greatly apparent, it seems to increase slightly with age.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Marklund, Ellen / Lacerda, Francisco (2006): "Infants˛ ability to extract verbs from continuous speech", In INTERSPEECH-2006, paper 1986-Tue3CaP.2.