Sing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song

Article


Falk, S., Fasolo, M., Genovese, G., Romero-Lauro, L. and Franco, F. 2021. Sing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song. Infancy. 26 (2), pp. 248-270. https://doi.org/10.1111/infa.12387
TypeArticle
TitleSing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song
AuthorsFalk, S., Fasolo, M., Genovese, G., Romero-Lauro, L. and Franco, F.
Abstract

When adults speak or sing with infants, they sound differently than in adult communication. Infant-directed (ID) communication helps caregivers to regulate infants’ emotions, and helps infants to process speech information, at least from ID-speech. However, it is largely unclear whether infants might also process speech information presented in ID-singing. Therefore, we examined whether infants discriminate vowels in ID-singing, as well as potential differences with ID-speech. Using an Alternating-Trial-Preference-Procedure, infants aged 4-6 and 8-10 months were tested on their discrimination of an unfamiliar non-native vowel contrast presented in ID-like speech and singing. Relying on models of early speech sound perception, we expected that infants in their first half year of life would discriminate the vowels, in contrast to older infants whose non-native sound perception should deteriorate, at least in ID-like speech. Our results showed that infants of both age groups were able to discriminate the vowels in ID-like singing, while only the younger group discriminated the vowels in ID-like speech. These results show that infants process speech sound information in song from early on. They also hint at diverging perceptual or attentional mechanisms guiding infants’ sound processing in ID-speech vs. -singing towards the end of the first year of life.

KeywordsPediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health, Developmental and Educational Psychology
LanguageEnglish
PublisherWiley
JournalInfancy
ISSN1525-0008
Electronic1532-7078
Publication dates
Online01 Feb 2021
Print31 Mar 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Feb 2021
Accepted14 Dec 2020
Submitted14 Jan 2020
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Falk, S., Fasolo, M., Genovese, G., Romero‐Lauro, L. and Franco, F. (2021), Sing for me, Mama! Infants' discrimination of novel vowels in song. Infancy, 26: 248-270, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/infa.12387. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Additional information

Volume26, Issue2, March/April 2021

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/infa.12387
Web of Science identifierWOS:000613396300001
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/89413

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