The Effect of Sonority on Word Segmentation: Evidence for the Use of a Phonological Universal

Cognitive Science 36 (4):655-673 (2011)
Abstract
It has been well documented how language-specific cues may be used for word segmentation. Here, we investigate what role a language-independent phonological universal, the sonority sequencing principle (SSP), may also play. Participants were presented with an unsegmented speech stream with non-English word onsets that juxtaposed adherence to the SSP with transitional probabilities. Participants favored using the SSP in assessing word-hood, suggesting that the SSP represents a potentially powerful cue for word segmentation. To ensure the SSP influenced the segmentation process (i.e., during learning), we presented two additional groups of participants with either (a) no exposure to the stimuli prior to testing or (b) the same stimuli with pauses marking word breaks. The SSP did not influence test performance in either case, suggesting that the SSP is important for word segmentation during the learning process itself. Moreover, the fact that SSP-independent segmentation of the stimulus occurred (in the latter control condition) suggests that universals are best understood as biases rather than immutable constraints on learning
Keywords Language universals  Sonority  Sonority sequencing principle  Word segmentation  Phonology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01211.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,173
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Which Came First: Infants Learning Language or Motherese?Heather Bortfeld - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):505-506.
The Feasibility of Segmentation of Protolanguage.Istvan Zachar - 2011 - Interaction Studies 12 (1):1-35.
Word Extension: A Key to Early Word Learning and Domain-Specificity.Sandra R. Waxman - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1121-1122.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-11-04

Total downloads

16 ( #292,446 of 2,152,478 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #399,782 of 2,152,478 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums