Fine-grained variation in caregivers' speech predicts their infants' discrimination
Fine-grained variation in caregivers' speech predicts their infants' discrimination. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129
, 3271-3280. doi:10.1121/1.3562562.
Within the debate on the mechanisms underlying infants’ perceptual acquisition, one hypothesis proposes that infants’ perception is directly affected by the acoustic implementation of sound categories in the speech they hear. In consonance with this view, the present study shows that individual variation in fine-grained, subphonemic aspects of the acoustic realization of /s/ in caregivers’ speech predicts infants’ discrimination of this sound from the highly similar /∫/, suggesting that learning based on acoustic cue distributions may indeed drive natural phonological acquisition.