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Thirty Years of Research on Infant Speech Perception

Summary: Thirty Years of Research on Infant
Speech Perception:
The Legacy of Peter W. Jusczyk
LouAnn Gerken
Departments of Psychology and Linguistics
University of Arizona
Richard N. Aslin
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
University of Rochester
The field of infant speech perception emerged in the early 1970s as new techniques
became available to assess young infants'sophisticated discriminative capacities. Pe-
ter W. Jusczyk, who died in 2001, was involved in the first studies of infant speech
perception and became over the next 30 years the most prolific and influential con-
tributor to research on language acquisition. We review his many contributions and
comment on their impact in addressing four key aspects of early language develop-
ment: discrimination of speech segments; prosody and its role in language develop-
ment; effects on perception of frequent segments and sequences; and early
word-form perception, segmentation, and learning.
Peter W. Jusczyk was one of the most prolific and influential forces in the study of
infants' perception of spoken language. When he died in 2001, he had published


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


Collections: Biology and Medicine