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Identifying novel, non-lexical cues to meaning present in infant directed speech




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Methods. Data for 26 adult-infant dyads was collected by providing adults with two different types of conversational prompts, sets of objects and cue-cards suggesting non-object topics of conversation and asking adults to use the prompts to interact with their infants. Adults' speech to infants was transcribed and coded. Analyses. Of 5921 total utterances, 76.2% were about objects. Declaratives were the most common (45%) type of utterance, 8.6% of utterances began with a gasp and the mean utterance length was 4.05. To account for the statistical dependence of utterances by the same adult, a Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) model was fit using the exchange correlation structure. Utterance type, initial gasp, utterance length, and their interactions were tested as predictors of Object status. Results. Utterances starting with an audible gasp had a significantly higher probability of being about an object than utterances that did not (?2 = 12.7, p

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Montreal, Canada

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