Storage of phonological information in the early mental lexicon. Does the shape of target words matter?
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Aim of the current study is to provide more insight into the question what 14-month-olds’ phonological representations of CVC words with an initial coronal consonant and a labial vowel look like. Previous research has indicated that these type of words behave peculiar. Question is whether they receive one place of articulation (PoA) feature for the whole word or whether they trigger segmentation. This is tested in a preferential looking paradigm, in which the participants are familiarized with two nonsense words: don and tos in an extensive learning phase. During the test phase, their sensitivity to correct pronunciations (CP) versus vowel mispronunciations (MPV: din and tis) and consonant mispronunciations (MPC: bon and pos) is tested. An eyetracker is used to measure infant’s eye movements. Different analyses of the results reveal that don-type of words do not seem to receive one place of articulation (PoA) feature for the word.