ISCA Workshop on Plasticity in Speech Perception (PSP2005)

Senate House, London, UK
June 15-17, 2005

Learning How to Learn: The Acquisition of Stress-Based Word Segmentation Strategies by Infants

Jenny Saffran (1), Erik Thiessen (2)

(1) University of Wisconsin Madison, WI, USA
(2) Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

In order to successfully acquire language, infants must flexibly adapt their learning strategies to best fit the structure of the linguistic input they receive. While some learning strategies are likely applicable widely across languages, such as detecting the sequential probabilities of sounds, other learning strategies need to be tailored to particular native language structures, such as discovering word boundaries using lexical stress cues. We will review a series of studies examining how infants learn how to learn word boundary cues like lexical stress as a function of linguistic experience.


Bibliographic reference.  Saffran, Jenny / Thiessen, Erik (2005): "Learning how to learn: the acquisition of stress-based word segmentation strategies by infants", In PSP2005, 248-251.