Project 7

Phonological and lexical effects on word learning in children with low and high vocabulary: Evidence from French (WP2)


ESR 7: Mélanie Hoareau

Supervisors:

Prof. Dr. Thierry Nazzi (University Paris Descartes, France)
Prof. Barbara Höhle (University of Potsdam, Germany)

We will explore whether the ability to process detailed phonetic information while recognizing known words and learning new words is related to the size of comprehension and production vocabularies. Infants will be tested at 14 and 20 months of age on their ability to recognize known words and detect minimal mispronunciations of these known words. Infants will also be tested on their ability to learn pairs of new words that differ by a minimal phonetic change. These studies will be based first on eye-tracking measurements to establish the facts, and then on ERPs to specify the neurocognitive bases of phonetic processing at the lexical level. To study effects of the phonological structure of the language to be learned (sound inventory, syllable structure) this project will be run in close collaboration with ESR6.

We expect that sensitivity to mispronunciations and ability to learn phonetically-similar words will increase with age, and will be higher in infants with higher vocabularies.