Start-end : 2011-2019

Summary:

The goal of this operation is to determine the generality and origin of the consonant bias (Nespor et al., 2003), and the factors that modulate its expression. To do so, a joined developmental and crosslinguistic approach was used, studies probing the lexical level being conducted in different languages, from early infancy to adulthood.

 

Results:

Studies conducted in French showed that the consonant bias is not an initial bias, but emerges (from a vocalic bias) between 6 and 8 months (Bouchon et al., 2015; Nishibayashi & Nazzi, 2016; Poltrock & Nazzi, 2015). Moreover, word learning studies were conducted in French, English and Danish, which showed different developmental trajectories (later emergence of consonantal bias in English, between 24 and 30 months, Floccia et al., 2014; vocalic bias in Danish at 20 months, Højen & Nazzi, 2016). Both series of studies establish that the consonant bias is acquired, depending on language-specific properties that either relate to the phonological or the prelexical levels. An ongoing collaboration with A. Hojen, O. Bohn (Aarhus U.) and B. New (U Chambéry) is testing the hypothesis that contrary to French and English adults, Danish adults have a vocalic bias, extending New et al. (2008) and van Ooijen et al. (1996) to that language.