The Development of Speech Perception

The Transition from Speech Sounds to Spoken Words

This comprehensive collection of current research in the development of speech perception and perceptual learning documents the striking changes that take place both in early childhood and throughout life and speculates about the mechanisms responsible for those changes. The findings reported from this rich and active field address the role of growing linguistic knowledge and experience and demonstrate that speech perception develops in a bidirectional interplay with several levels of linguistic structure and cognitive processes.

Examining transitions in the perceptual processing of speech from infancy to adulthood as well as what causes these transitions, the contributors take up a broad range of issues that are central to constructing a theory of speech perception and to understanding the development of this ability. These include the nature of infants' early sensory proficiencies, how these skills come to support the recognition of linguistic units, developmental differences in the representation and processing of linguistic units, the acquisition of early word patterns and a phonological system, and the mechanisms behind perceptual learning.

The Development of Speech Perception is unique in attempting to integrate research involving infants, young children, and adults and in its thorough treatment of developmental issues in speech perception. It systematically explores how adult perceptual abilities begin to develop from early infant capabilities, and in doing so addresses several levels of linguistic processing.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Contributors
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. Developing Theories of Speech Perception: Constraints from Developmental Data

    Judith C. Goodman, Lisa Lee and Jenny DeGroot

  5. 2. Observations on Speech Perception, Its Development, and the Search for Mechanism

    Joanne L. Miller and Peter D. Eimas

  6. 3. The Importance of Childhood to Language Acquisition: Evidence from American Sign Language

    Rachel I. Mayberry

  7. 4. Cross-Language Speech Perception: Development Change Does Not Involve Loss

    Janet F. Werker

  8. 5. Perceptual Learning of Nonnative Speech Contrasts: Implications for Theories of Speech Perception

    David B. Pisoni, Scott E. Lively and John S. Logan

  9. 6. The Emergence of Native-Language Phonological Influences in Infants: A Perceptual Assimilation Model

    Catherine T. Best

  10. 7. Infant Speech Perception and the Development of the Mental Lexicon

    Peter W. Jusczyk

  11. 8. Sentential Processes in Early Child Language: Evidence from the Perception and Production of Function Morphemes

    LouAnn Gerken

  12. 9. Learning to Hear Speech as Spoken Language

    Howard C. Nusbaum and Judith C. Goodman

  13. Index