Day by day, hour by hour: Naturalistic language input to infants.
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Measurements of infants' quotidian experiences provide critical information about early development. However, the role of sampling methods in providing these measurements is rarely examined. Here we directly compare language input from hour-long video-recordings and daylong audio-recordings within the same group of 44 infants at 6 and 7 months. We compared 12 measures of language quantity and lexical diversity, talker variability, utterance-type, and object presence, finding moderate correlations across recording-types. However, video-recordings generally featured far denser noun input across these measures compared to the daylong audio-recordings, more akin to 'peak' audio hours (though not as high in talkers and word-types). Although audio-recordings captured ~10 times more awake-time than videos, the noun input in them was only 2-4 times greater. Notably, whether we compared videos to daylong audio-recordings or peak audio times, videos featured relatively fewer declaratives and more questions; furthermore, the most common video-recorded nouns were less consistent across families than the top audio-recording nouns were. Thus, hour-long videos and daylong audio-recordings revealed fairly divergent pictures of the language infants hear and learn from in their daily lives. We suggest that short video-recordings provide a dense and somewhat different sample of infants' language experiences, rather than a typical one, and should be used cautiously for extrapolation about common words, talkers, utterance-types, and contexts at larger timescales. If theories of language development are to be held accountable to 'facts on the ground' from observational data, greater care is needed to unpack the ramifications of sampling methods of early language input.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/desc.12715
Publication InfoBergelson, Elika; Amatuni, Andrei; Dailey, Shannon; Koorathota, Sharath; & Tor, Shaelise (2019). Day by day, hour by hour: Naturalistic language input to infants. Developmental science, 22(1). pp. e12715. 10.1111/desc.12715. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19714.
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Crandall Family Assistant Professor
Dr. Bergelson accepts PhD applicants through the Developmental and Cog/CogNeuro areas of P&N and the CNAP program.In my research, I try to understand the interplay of processes during language acquisition. In particular, I am interested in how word learning relates to other aspects of learning language (e.g. speech sound acquisition, grammar/morphology learning), and social/cognitive development more broadly (e.g. joint attention processes) in the first few
Shannon is a PhD student studying developmental psychology. She received her BA with honors in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. She worked as lab manager on the SEEDLingS team at the University of Rochester and as the Bergelson Lab manager at Duke before entering the graduate program here, advised by Dr. Bergelson.
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