The Discovery of Spoken Language


The Discovery of Spoken Language marks one of the first efforts to integrate the field of infant speech perception research into the general study of language acquisition. It fills in a key part of the acquisition story by providing an extensive review of research on the acquisition of language during the first year of life, focusing primarily on how normally developing infants learn the organization of native language sound patterns.

Peter Jusczyk examines the initial capacities that infants possess for discriminating and categorizing speech sounds and how these capacities evolve as infants gain experience with native language input. Jusczyk also looks at how infants' growing knowledge of native language sound patterns may facilitate the acquisition of other aspects of language organization and discusses the relationship between the learner's developing capacities for perceiving and producing speech.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Surveying the Terrain
  3. 2. A Brief Historical Perspective on Language Acquisition Research
  4. 3. Early Research on Speech Perception
  5. 4. How Speech Perception Develops during the First Year
  6. 5. The Role of Memory and Attentional Processes in the Development of Speech Perception
  7. 6. How Attention to Sound Properties May Facilitate Learning Other Elements of Linguistic Organization
  8. 7. Relating Perception to Production
  9. 8. Wrapping Things Up
  10. Appendix: Methodology Used in Studies of Infant Speech Perception
  11. Notes
  12. References
  13. Name Index
  14. Subject Index