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Science. 1996 Dec 13;274(5294):1926-8.

Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants.

Author information

  • 1Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.

Abstract

Learners rely on a combination of experience-independent and experience-dependent mechanisms to extract information from the environment. Language acquisition involves both types of mechanisms, but most theorists emphasize the relative importance of experience-independent mechanisms. The present study shows that a fundamental task of language acquisition, segmentation of words from fluent speech, can be accomplished by 8-month-old infants based solely on the statistical relationships between neighboring speech sounds. Moreover, this word segmentation was based on statistical learning from only 2 minutes of exposure, suggesting that infants have access to a powerful mechanism for the computation of statistical properties of the language input.

Comment in

  • Acquiring language. [Science. 1997]
  • Acquiring language. [Science. 1997]
  • Acquiring language. [Science. 1997]
  • Acquiring language. [Science. 1997]
  • Learning rediscovered. [Science. 1996]
PMID:
8943209
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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