Parent or community: Where do 20-month-olds exposed to two accents acquire their representation of words?

Caroline Floccia, Claire Delle Luche, Samantha Durrant, Joseph Butler, Jeremy Goslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The recognition of familiar words was evaluated in 20-month-old children raised in a rhotic accent environment to parents that had either rhotic or non-rhotic accents. Using an Intermodal Preferential Looking task children were presented with familiar objects (e.g. 'bird') named in their rhotic or non-rhotic form. Children were only able to identify familiar words pronounced in a rhotic accent, irrespective of their parents' accent. This suggests that it is the local community rather than parental input that determines accent preference in the early stages of acquisition. Consequences for the architecture of the early lexicon and for models of word learning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalCognition
Volume124
Issue number1
Early online date27 Apr 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • accents
  • children
  • intermodal preferential looking procedure
  • language acquisition
  • lexicon
  • word recognition

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