Language learning in infants; Researchers find how they interpret acoustic differences between words | The Financial Express

Language learning in infants; Researchers find how they interpret acoustic differences between words

Researchers are now trying to determine how babies learn language by identifying its various acoustic features, which are referred to as contrastive.

Language learning in infants; Researchers find how they interpret acoustic differences between words
nfants can take a few years to speak, but they start recognizing sounds soon after birth

Learning a language is a natural process that babies are born with. They are able to learn it by being exposed to the world around them. This is because being able to hear and understand the world around them helps them develop their skills.

Infants can take a few years to speak, but they start recognizing sounds soon after birth. This makes them become language-specific listeners.

Researchers are now trying to determine how babies learn language by identifying its various acoustic features, which are referred to as contrastive. For instance, in English, the letters “b” and “d” are contrastive because changing the letters in “ball” to “doll” creates a new word.

A recent study conducted by two computational linguists from the University of Maryland revealed that contrastive features can help babies learn how to identify the sounds of their native language. This discovery is very important as it allows us to understand how babies learn.

The researchers noted that babies’ ability to identify the difference between non-contrastive and contrastive sounds may come from the context they’re exposed to.

For a long time, it was believed that there were various differences between contrastive and non-contrastive sounds. For instance, in Japanese, long and short vowels are pronounced differently in careful speech. However, in more natural settings, the contrastive and non-contrastive acoustic features are more ambiguous.

Researchers then collected speaking patterns from different contexts and made plots putting vowel durations in each context. In French, these vowel duration plots were similar in all contexts.

According to Hitczenko, a postdoctoral scholar in the Cognitive Sciences and Psycholinguistics Laboratory at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, babies can identify the difference between non-contrastive and contrastive sounds based on the context they’re exposed to. They tested their theory by comparing the data collected from different contexts, such as Japanese, French, and Dutch.

The findings of the study revealed that babies are able to identify the difference between non-contrastive and contrastive sounds by being exposed to the context they’re being presented with. According to the study’s co-author, Naomi Feldman, a professor of linguistics, the findings support an understanding of how babies learn the language.

According to the study’s co-author, Naomi Feldman, the findings support an understanding of how babies learn a language. She also noted that the signal they studied can be generalized to other types of contrasts.

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