Infant learning of words in a typologically distant nonnative language

Hui CHEN, Dahliane LABERTONIÈRE, Hin Tat CHEUNG, Thierry NAZZI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Infants attune to their native language during the first two years of life, as attested by decreases in the processing of nonnative phonological sounds and reductions in the range of possible sounds accepted as labels for native words. The present study shows that French-learning infants aged 1;8 can learn new words in an unfamiliar language, Cantonese, after just 6 repetitions of each word. This shows that word learning in a nonnative language remains possible during the second year of life even in a nonnative language that is typologically distinct from the native language. Copyright © 2020 Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Language
Early online dateMay 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2020

Citation

Chen, H., Labertonière, D., Cheung, H., & Nazzi, T. (2020). Infant learning of words in a typologically distant nonnative language. Journal of Child Language. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S0305000920000161

Keywords

  • Early language acquisition
  • Word learning
  • Language attunement
  • French
  • Cantonese

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