How English-learners begin to segment fluent speech – Peter Jusczyk (Johns Hopkins University, Department of Psychology)

November 12, 1996 all-day

Acquiring a language depends on correctly recovering words from fluent speech. Thus every language learner needs to solve the segmentation problem. Infants appear to have some success in segmenting speech even during their first year of life. Because languages differ greatly in their sound patterns, infants have to discover which of the potential cues to word boundaries work best for the language which they are acquiring. The present talk will focus on how English-learners begin to segment speech. A number of issues regarding speech segmentation and its role in lexical development will be addressed. For example, what sources of information do infants draw on? How do their abilities to segment speech change as a result of their increasing exposure to English? What implications do changes in infants’ speech segmentation abilities have for the development of a lexicon?

Center for Language and Speech Processing