Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

New from Oxford University Press!


Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: Chunking the Input: on the role of frequency and prosody in the segmentation strategies of adult bilinguals Add Dissertation
Author: Irene de la Cruz Pavía Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of the Basque Country, Masters in Linguistics
Completed in: 2012
Linguistic Subfield(s): Psycholinguistics;
Director(s): Gorka Elordieta
Itziar Laka

Abstract: The present dissertation investigates the abilities of adult monolingual and
bilingual speakers to implement statistical and prosodic cues in speech
segmentation. Three are the aims of the present dissertation: (1) to examine
whether bilingual speakers deploy the prosodic and statistical segmentation
strategies that characterize their two languages, (2) to investigate the role that
statistical and prosodic cues play in adult speech segmentation, and (3) to
explore whether adult speakers make use of two types of cues that have been
proposed as potentially allowing infants to determine the basic word order patter
(OV/VO, head-initial or head-final) of the language under acquisition: the
frequency distribution of functors and content words in natural languages
(frequency-based cue) and the relative prominence within phonological phrases
(prosodic cue).

Three artificial language learning experiments were conducted, in which the
segmentation preferences of ambiguous artificial languages that contain these
frequency-based and prosodic cues by adult monolingual and bilingual speakers
were examined.

The results of the experiments showed that (1) bilingual speakers are able
to implement the frequency-based segmentation strategies that characterize
their two languages, though acquisition of the L2’s segmentation strategy
appears to be constrained, (2) statistical and prosodic cues seem to be
outranked by acoustic-phonetic cues, supporting thus a hierarchical account of
segmentation cues in which statistical and prosodic cues are the least weighed
by adult speakers, (3) frequent-initial segmentation might be the universally
preferred segmentation strategy, (4) frequency-based segmentation strategies
are available segmentation cues to adult speakers.