Infant rule learning: Advantage language, or advantage speech?

Hugh Rabagliati, Ann Senghas, Scott Johnson, Gary F. Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Infants appear to learn abstract rule-like regularities (e.g., la la da follows an AAB pattern) more easily from speech than from a variety of other auditory and visual stimuli (Marcus et al., 2007). We test if that facilitation reflects a specialization to learn from speech alone, or from modality-independent communicative stimuli more generally, by measuring 7.5-month-old infants' ability to learn abstract rules from sign language-like gestures. Whereas infants appear to easily learn many different rules from speech, we found that with sign-like stimuli, and under circumstances comparable to those of Marcus et al. (1999), hearing infants were able to learn an ABB rule, but not an AAB rule. This is consistent with results of studies that demonstrate lower levels of infant rule learning from a variety of other non-speech stimuli, and we discuss implications for accounts of speech-facilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere40517
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2012

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Language
learning
Learning
sign language
Sign Language
Audition
hearing
Gestures
Aptitude
Hearing
testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Rabagliati, H., Senghas, A., Johnson, S., & Marcus, G. F. (2012). Infant rule learning: Advantage language, or advantage speech? PLoS One, 7(7), [e40517]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040517

Infant rule learning : Advantage language, or advantage speech? / Rabagliati, Hugh; Senghas, Ann; Johnson, Scott; Marcus, Gary F.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 7, e40517, 18.07.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rabagliati, H, Senghas, A, Johnson, S & Marcus, GF 2012, 'Infant rule learning: Advantage language, or advantage speech?', PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 7, e40517. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040517
Rabagliati H, Senghas A, Johnson S, Marcus GF. Infant rule learning: Advantage language, or advantage speech? PLoS One. 2012 Jul 18;7(7). e40517. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040517
Rabagliati, Hugh ; Senghas, Ann ; Johnson, Scott ; Marcus, Gary F. / Infant rule learning : Advantage language, or advantage speech?. In: PLoS One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 7.
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