Stress and Word Position as Determinants of Imitation in First-Language Learners This study investigated stress (prominence) and word position as decoding cues for first-language learners. Three levels of stress (defined perceptually and acoustically) were assigned systematically across a set of four-syllable nonsense strings. Word position was defined as the serial occurrence of the syllables in each string. Children, ages 28 to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1970
Stress and Word Position as Determinants of Imitation in First-Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard Blasdell
    University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • Paul Jensen
    University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1970
Stress and Word Position as Determinants of Imitation in First-Language Learners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1970, Vol. 13, 193-202. doi:10.1044/jshr.1301.193
History: Received December 10, 1968
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1970, Vol. 13, 193-202. doi:10.1044/jshr.1301.193
History: Received December 10, 1968

This study investigated stress (prominence) and word position as decoding cues for first-language learners. Three levels of stress (defined perceptually and acoustically) were assigned systematically across a set of four-syllable nonsense strings. Word position was defined as the serial occurrence of the syllables in each string. Children, ages 28 to 39 months, imitated each string as it was presented from a loudspeaker. The responses were tape-recorded and transcribed by three phonetically trained judges. The subjects imitated significantly more often those syllables with primary stress and those occurring in the final position. This suggested that, when imitating adult utterances, first-language learners decode those utterances by attending to the most stressed and the final items of the utterances.

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