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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Does size matter? Subsegmental cues to vowel mispronunciation detection
Author: Nivedita Mani
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Oxford
Author: Kim Plunkett
Institution: University of Oxford
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Children look longer at a familiar object when presented with either correct pronunciations or small mispronunciations of consonants in the object's label, but not following larger mispronunciations. The current article examines whether children display a similar graded sensitivity to different degrees of mispronunciations of the vowels in familiar words, by testing children's sensitivity to 1-feature, 2-feature and 3-feature mispronunciations of the vowels of familiar labels: Children aged 1 ; 6 did not show a graded sensitivity to vowel mispronunciations, even when the trial length was increased to allow them more time to form a response. Two-year-olds displayed a robust sensitivity to increases in vowel mispronunciation size, differentiating between small and large mispronunciations. While this suggests that early lexical representations contain information about the features contributing to vocalic identity, we present evidence that this graded sensitivity is better explained by the acoustic characteristics of the different mispronunciation types presented to children.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 38, Issue 3.

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