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Comparative Analysis of Nativist Account and Statistical Account for Infant Speech Perception Development

Author: LiuChang
Tutor: ZhuYue
School: Anhui University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: infant speech perception development Universal Grammar statisticallearning ability language acquisition
CLC: G613.2
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 1
Quote: 0
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Infant speech perception can be seen as an important start in language acquisition. As nativist account and statistical account are two popular theories in language acquisition, it is a question as to whether these two theories can be applied to the development of infant speech perception.There have been quite many experiments done on infants to see their perception of the speech sounds from when they are born till the end of infancy (first year of life). As for theoretical works, they mainly focus on explaining the factors behind the reaction of infants. There were papers using the Nativist account or statistical account to explain this phenomenon, but there is no comparative study of these two accounts on infant speech perception. This objective of this paper is to see how the two accounts explain infant speech perception differently.As infant speech perception consists of phonological development and word segmentation, this thesis makes use of the comparative method to analyze the two theories to see to what extent they can account for the two parts of infant speech perception.The analysis reveals the major differences between two theories and shows that they account for some phenomena in infant speech perception from different perspectives. Nativist account is more general at explaining why infants develop their speech perception in such a way because UG is the internal learning mechanism inside infants’mind, while statistical account is more concrete in explaining how infants use this learning method to make necessary computation.Previous empirical and theoretical studies on infant speech perception initiated this study, and the significance of this study lies in that it critically make use of the findings of these studies to make a comparative analysis of two theories from language acquisition on infant speech perception development.

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CLC: > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Pre-school education, early childhood education > Subjects teaching methods,teaching materials > Language, literacy
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