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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Early word segmentation in infants acquiring Parisian French: task-dependent and dialect-specific aspects
Author: Thierry Nazzi
Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Author: Karima Mersad
Institution: Université Paris V - Descartes
Author: Megha Sundara
Institution: University of California
Author: Galina Iakimova
Institution: Université Paris V - Descartes
Author: Linda Polka
Institution: McGill University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: Six experiments explored Parisian French-learning infants' ability to segment bisyllabic words from fluent speech. The first goal was to assess whether bisyllabic word segmentation emerges later in infants acquiring European French compared to other languages. The second goal was to determine whether infants learning different dialects of the same language have partly different segmentation abilities, and whether segmenting a non-native dialect has a cost. Infants were tested on standard European or Canadian French stimuli, in the word–passage or passage–word order. Our study first establishes an early onset of segmentation abilities: Parisian infants segment bisyllabic words at age 0;8 in the passage–word order only (revealing a robust order of presentation effect). Second, it shows that there are differences in segmentation abilities across Parisian and Canadian French infants, and that there is a cost for cross-dialect segmentation for Parisian infants. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding word segmentation processes.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 41, Issue 3.

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