In a preferential looking paradigm, we studied how children's looking behavior and pupillary response were modulated by the degree of phonological mismatch between the correct label of a target referent and its manipulated form. We manipulated degree of mismatch by introducing one or more featural changes to the target label. Both looking behavior and pupillary response were sensitive to degree of mismatch, corroborating previous studies that found differential responses in one or the other measure. Using time-course analyses, we present for the first time results demonstrating full separability among conditions (detecting difference not only between one vs. more, but also between two and three featural changes). Furthermore, the correct labels and small featural changes were associated with stable target preference, while large featural changes were associated with oscillating looking behavior, suggesting significant shifts in looking preference over time. These findings further support and extend the notion that early words are represented in great detail, containing subphonemic information.
Bibliographical noteCopyright Cambridge University Press 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- lexical development
- featural distance
- mispronunciation detection