|Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2004), 27:4:505-506 Cambridge University Press|
Copyright © 2004 Cambridge University Press
Which came first: Infants learning language or motherese?
Although motherese may facilitate language acquisition, recent findings indicate that not all aspects of motherese are necessary for word recognition and speech segmentation, the building blocks of language learning. Rather, exposure to input that has prosodic, phonological, and statistical consistencies is sufficient to jump-start the learning process. In light of this, the infant-directedness of the input might be considered superfluous, at least insofar as language acquisition is concerned.