When adults speak or sing with infants, they sound differently than in adult communication. Infant-directed (ID) communication helps caregivers to regulate infants' emotions and helps infants to process speech information, at least from ID-speech. However, it is largely unclear whether infants might also process speech information presented in ID-singing. Therefore, we examined whether infants discriminate vowels in ID-singing, as well as potential differences with ID-speech. Using an alternating trial preference procedure, infants aged 4-6 and 8-10 months were tested on their discrimination of an unfamiliar non-native vowel contrast presented in ID-like speech and singing. Relying on models of early speech sound perception, we expected that infants in their first half year of life would discriminate the vowels, in contrast to older infants whose non-native sound perception should deteriorate, at least in ID-like speech. Our results showed that infants of both age groups were able to discriminate the vowels in ID-like singing, while only the younger group discriminated the vowels in ID-like speech. These results show that infants process speech sound information in song from early on. They also hint at diverging perceptual or attentional mechanisms guiding infants' sound processing in ID-speech versus ID-singing toward the end of the first year of life.

Falk, S., Fasolo, M., Genovese, G., Romero-Lauro, L., Franco, F. (2021). Sing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song. INFANCY, 26(2), 248-270 [10.1111/infa.12387].

Sing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song

Fasolo, Mirco;Genovese, Giuliana;Romero-Lauro, Leonor;
2021

Abstract

When adults speak or sing with infants, they sound differently than in adult communication. Infant-directed (ID) communication helps caregivers to regulate infants' emotions and helps infants to process speech information, at least from ID-speech. However, it is largely unclear whether infants might also process speech information presented in ID-singing. Therefore, we examined whether infants discriminate vowels in ID-singing, as well as potential differences with ID-speech. Using an alternating trial preference procedure, infants aged 4-6 and 8-10 months were tested on their discrimination of an unfamiliar non-native vowel contrast presented in ID-like speech and singing. Relying on models of early speech sound perception, we expected that infants in their first half year of life would discriminate the vowels, in contrast to older infants whose non-native sound perception should deteriorate, at least in ID-like speech. Our results showed that infants of both age groups were able to discriminate the vowels in ID-like singing, while only the younger group discriminated the vowels in ID-like speech. These results show that infants process speech sound information in song from early on. They also hint at diverging perceptual or attentional mechanisms guiding infants' sound processing in ID-speech versus ID-singing toward the end of the first year of life.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
infant speech;
English
1-feb-2021
2021
26
2
248
270
none
Falk, S., Fasolo, M., Genovese, G., Romero-Lauro, L., Franco, F. (2021). Sing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song. INFANCY, 26(2), 248-270 [10.1111/infa.12387].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/300953
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