Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

The Role of Segmentation in Lexical Acquisition in Children

 
Author(s) Sarah Smits-Bandstra
Volume 30
Number 3
Year 2006
Page(s) 182-191
Language English
Category
Keywords segmentation
lexical
acquisition
vocabulary
spurt
emergentism
nativism
child
holistic
referential
Abstract This position paper proposes that the development of a sophisticated segmentation system is one factor that may play an important role in the vocabulary spurt in children. Segmentation is the ability of a listener to pick out words from the acoustically continuous steam of speech. The argument is put forth that initially children segment words using prelexical strategies alone and are able to do this based on their early sensitivities and the rich acoustical signals in the speech input they receive. Further evidence demonstrates that adults use a sophisticated segmentation system that efficiently incorporates both prelexical and lexical cues from the speech input. Finally, the results of several important segmentation studies are presented to support the main hypothesis of the paper, that the development of an integrated segmentation system relying on both prelexical (bottom-up) and lexical (top-down) segmentation cues by children coincides with and may possibly be an important determinant of the timing of the vocabulary spurt.


Le présent énoncé de position avance que le développement d’un système complexe de segmentation serait l’un des facteurs jouant un rôle important dans l’accélération de l’acquisition du vocabulaire chez les enfants. La segmentation est la capacité de l’auditeur à repérer les mots dans le flot acoustique continu de la parole. L’argument développé propose qu’au départ les enfants segmentent les mots à partir de stratégies pré-lexicales seulement et y arrivent grâce à leur sensibilité précoce et à la richesse des signaux acoustiques des messages verbaux qu’ils entendent. D’autres éléments montrent que les adultes ont recours à un système complexe de segmentation qui intègre à la fois des indices pré-lexicaux et post-lexicaux dans la parole. Enfin, les résultats de plusieurs études importantes sur la segmentation sont cités pour corroborer la principale hypothèse de l’article, c’est-à-dire que l’acquisition chez les enfants d’un système de segmentation intégré reposant sur des indices pré-lexicaux (ascendant) et lexicaux (descendant) correspond à une accélération de l’acquisition du vocabulaire et pourrait en être un déterminant important.
Record ID 931
Link http://cjslpa.ca/files/2006_JSLPA_Vol_30/No_03_153-208/Smits-Bandstra_JSLPA_2006.pdf
 
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