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Speech perception and spoken word recognition in young children

TitleSpeech perception and spoken word recognition in young children
Publication TypeConference Presentation
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEdwards, J. R., & Mahr T.
Conference Name170th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America

Recent studies have found that expressive vocabulary size predicts spoken word recognition in young children. Children with larger vocabularies recognize even highly familiar words more efficiently than their peers with smaller vocabularies (Fernald et al., 2006). Furthermore, lexical processing efficiency at 18 months predicts future vocabulary size up to 8 years of age (Fernald et al., 2013; Marchman & Fernald, 2008). However, these studies did not include any measures of speech/language development beyond vocabulary size. We discuss the results of several studies that included multiple measures of speech and language development as well as measures of the home linguistic environment (using LENA, Ford et al., 2008). One experimental task assessed children’s online responses to correct productions of familiar words, to mispronunciations of these words, and to nonwords using eye-tracking. We found that speech perception was a better predictor of lexical processing efficiency than expressive vocabulary size. Furthermore, the number of conversational turns between children and their caregivers also predicted how quickly children looked at unfamiliar objects when they heard nonwords. Implications of these results are discussed. [Research supported by NIDCD grant 02932]

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