Infant Speech Perception:
Implications for Language (Acquisition) Theories

Instructor(s): Alejandrina (Alex) Cristià and Amanda Seidl

During the first year of life, infants gain important knowledge of linguistic categories. For example, perception of vowel categories becomes language-specific by 6 months; allophonic and phonemic contrasts are processed differently by 11 months; and learners are aware of the prosodic correlates of syntactic organization (such as branching direction or word order) by 7 months. Moreover, individual variation in achieving these landmarks can be tied to later language development. In this course, we will: Offer an introduction to infant speech perception methods to enable linguists to read and critique infant literature; Review findings on infants' phonological knowledge; Review findings that link infants' speech perception to later language development; Discuss these findings within models of language and language development, focusing on interfaces between phonetics and phonology; between phonology and lexicon; and between phonology and morphosyntax. This introductory course will follow a seminar style, relying mostly on lectures, students' presentations, and discussions.

Introduction to phonology. Some exposure to psychology and experimental methods would be useful.

Course ID:

Mon & Thu 8:30-10:15

Classroom: CHEM 133

Areas of Linguistics:
Language Development and

Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology