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Infant-Directed Speech and Word Segmentation Essay Example

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Infant-Directed Speech and Word Segmentation

It is generally accepted that in regions where English is a second language, most infants are likely to learn their native language first before learning how to speak English. They are also more likely to learn how to recognize and segment words in their native dialect than English. Despite this, some isolate cases show that this phenomenon could depend on the nature of the IDS they are exposed to. For instance, some parents who speak English as their second language often restrict their IDS to English-oriented intonations and structures. This leads to faster mastery of English words and, consequently, faster assimilation of word segmentation. However, another observed feature is that the dialect used by parents must be infant-oriented if infants are to develop word segmentation abilities. One approach that has been cited as highly effective is repetition, or “follow-ups.” For instance, rather than strive to teach infants new words in their native language, parents can follow up on what their children are trying to say. If for instance, an infant mumbles words insinuating food, the parent can repeat the word after the infant as a “confirmation” of its intentions. The parent can also utter the correct pronunciations of the word to show the infant how to spell it. This sends a message to the infant that guides the development of word segmentation in both words and part-words. It is worth noting that this concept is part of IDS, and is considered influential in language development. IDS is generally more effective than ADS because it resembles what infants are used to. It creates a sense of comfort and security that they can use to develop their linguistic abilities. When it comes to word segmentation, the effectiveness of these two dimensions of speech is relative to the contexts and intentions with which they are practiced. IDS is ‘friendlier” to infants than ADS, so naturally, it should be expected that their linguistic abilities will develop faster with exposure to it. The same can be said on ADS; it is simply a case of using the right theory in the right situation.

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preview essay on Infant-Directed Speech and Word Segmentation
  • Pages: 10 (2500 words)
  • Document Type: Research Paper
  • Subject: Humanitarian
  • Level: Degree
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