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Open Mind

2019, Vol. 3, Pages 13-22
(doi: 10.1162/opmi_a_00022)
© 2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license
Segmentability Differences Between Child-Directed and Adult-Directed Speech: A Systematic Test With an Ecologically Valid Corpus
Article PDF (365.97 KB)

Previous computational modeling suggests it is much easier to segment words from child-directed speech (CDS) than adult-directed speech (ADS). However, this conclusion is based on data collected in the laboratory, with CDS from play sessions and ADS between a parent and an experimenter, which may not be representative of ecologically collected CDS and ADS. Fully naturalistic ADS and CDS collected with a nonintrusive recording device as the child went about her day were analyzed with a diverse set of algorithms. The difference between registers was small compared to differences between algorithms; it reduced when corpora were matched, and it even reversed under some conditions. These results highlight the interest of studying learnability using naturalistic corpora and diverse algorithmic definitions.