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Learning at a distance I. Statistical learning of non-adjacent dependencies
 

Summary: Learning at a distance
I. Statistical learning of non-adjacent dependencies
Elissa L. Newport* and Richard N. Aslin
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Meliora Hall River Campus,
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
Accepted 1 July 2003
Abstract
In earlier work we have shown that adults, young children, and infants are capable of com-
puting transitional probabilities among adjacent syllables in rapidly presented streams of
speech, and of using these statistics to group adjacent syllables into word-like units. In the
present experiments we ask whether adult learners are also capable of such computations when
the only available patterns occur in non-adjacent elements. In the first experiment, we present
streams of speech in which precisely the same kinds of syllable regularities occur as in our pre-
vious studies, except that the patterned relations among syllables occur between non-adjacent
syllables (with an intervening syllable that is unrelated). Under these circumstances we do not
obtain our previous results: learners are quite poor at acquiring regular relations among non-
adjacent syllables, even when the patterns are objectively quite simple. In subsequent experi-
ments we show that learners are, in contrast, quite capable of acquiring patterned relations
among non-adjacent segments--both non-adjacent consonants (with an intervening vocalic
segment that is unrelated) and non-adjacent vowels (with an intervening consonantal segment

  

Source: Aslin, Richard N. - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester
DeAngelis, Gregory - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine