5 years ago

How Native Prosody Affects Pitch Processing during Word Learning in Limburgian and Dutch Toddlers and Adults.

Brouwer, Ramachers, Fikkert
In this study, Limburgian and Dutch 2.5- to 4-year-olds and adults took part in a word learning experiment. Following the procedure employed by Quam and Swingley (2010) and Singh et al. (2014), participants learned two novel word-object mappings. After training, word recognition was tested in correct pronunciation (CP) trials and mispronunciation (MP) trials featuring a pitch change. Since Limburgian is considered a restricted tone language, we expected that the pitch change would hinder word recognition in Limburgian, but not in non-tonal Dutch listeners. Contrary to our expectations, both Limburgian and Dutch children appeared to be sensitive to pitch changes in newly learned words, indicated by a significant decrease in target fixation in MP trials compared to CP trials. Limburgian and Dutch adults showed very strong naming effects in both trial types. The results are discussed against the background of the influence of the native prosodic system.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01652

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01652

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