Thierry Nazzi

Thierry Nazzi
Paris Descartes, CPSC | Paris 5 · UMR 8158 Psychologie de la Perception

PhD Cognitive Science, EHESS, Paris

About

153
Publications
34,619
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5,865
Citations
Citations since 2017
34 Research Items
2391 Citations
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Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
Growing evidence shows that early speech processing relies on information extracted from speech production. In particular, production skills are linked to word-form processing, as more advanced producers prefer listening to pseudowords containing consonants they do not yet produce. However, it is unclear whether production affects word-form encodin...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research shows that adults’ neural oscillations track the rhythm of the speech signal. However, the extent to which this tracking is driven by the acoustics of the signal, or by language-specific processing remains unknown. Here adult native listeners of three rhythmically different languages (English, French, Japanese) were compared on thei...
Article
Successful word recognition requires that listeners attend to differences that are phonemic in the language while also remaining flexible to the variation introduced by different voices and accents. Previous work has demonstrated that American-English-learning 19-month-olds are able to balance these demands: although one-off one-feature mispronunci...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on French adults using a written lexical decision task with masked priming, in which targets were more primed by consonant- (jalu-JOLI) than vowel-related (vobi-JOLI) primes, support the proposal that consonants have more weight than vowels in lexical processing. This study examines the phonological and/or lexical nature of this consonant b...
Preprint
Successful word recognition requires that listeners attend to differences that are phonemic in that language while also remaining flexible to the variation introduced by different voices and accents. Previous work has emonstrated that American-English-learning 19-month-olds are able to balance these demands: although one-off one-feature mispronunci...
Article
Full-text available
Human newborns can propel themselves to their mother's breast when positioned skin to skin on her abdomen just after birth. For decades, researchers have considered this primitive crawling behavior a spinal reflex, immune to supra spinal control. However recent research suggest that neonatal crawling is already responsive to visual and olfactory st...
Article
Full-text available
A surprising comprehension-production asymmetry in subject-verb (SV) agreement acquisition has been suggested in the literature, and recent research indicates that task-specific as well as language-specific features may contribute to this apparent asymmetry across languages. The present study investigates when during development children acquiring...
Article
In a previous study, Dodane and Bijeljac-Babic (2017) found that French/AmericanEnglish children aged 3;6 to 6;0, bilingual from birth, produced disyllabic words which had acoustic properties for lexical stress (f0, syllable duration and intensity) that differed from those of monolingual peers, showing cross-linguistic influences. In order to check...
Article
Many human infants grow up learning more than one language simultaneously but only recently has research started to study early language acquisition in this population more systematically. The paper gives an overview on findings on early language acquisition in bilingual infants during the first two years of life and compares these findings to curr...
Article
Consonants and vowels have been considered to fulfill different functions in language processing, vowels being more important for prosodic and syntactic processes and consonants for lexically related processes (Nespor, Peña, & Mehler, 2003). This C-bias hypothesis in lexical processing is supported by studies with adults and infants in many languag...
Poster
Full-text available
The current study explores when and how infants' brains attune to the phonotactic constraints of their native language to achieve phonotactic repair.
Article
Infants attune to their native language during the first two years of life, as attested by decreases in the processing of nonnative phonological sounds and reductions in the range of possible sounds accepted as labels for native words. The present study shows that French-learning infants aged 1;8 can learn new words in an unfamiliar language, Canto...
Article
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that during the first year of life, a preference for consonant information during lexical processing (consonant bias) emerges, at least for some languages like French. Our study investigated the factors involved in this emergence as well as the developmental consequences for variation in consonant bias emergence. In a serie...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological scientists have become increasingly concerned with issues related to methodology and replicability, and infancy researchers in particular face specific challenges related to replicability: For example, high-powered studies are difficult to conduct, testing conditions vary across labs, and different labs have access to different infant...
Article
This study compares the development of prosodic processing in French- and German-learning infants. The emergence of language-specific perception of phrase boundaries was directly tested using the same stimuli across these two languages. French-learning (Experiment 1, 2) and German-learning 6- and 8-month-olds (Experiment 3) listened to the same Fre...
Article
Full-text available
This study provides a novel approach for testing the universality of perceptual biases by looking at speech processing in simultaneous bilingual adults learning two languages that support the maintenance of this bias to different degrees. Specifically, we investigated the Iambic/Trochaic Law, an assumed universal grouping bias, in simultaneous Fren...
Article
Full-text available
Many human infants grow up learning more than one language simultaneously but only recently has research started to study early language acquisition in this population more systematically. The paper gives an overview on findings on early language acquisition in bilingual infants during the first two years of life and compares these findings to curr...
Article
Preterm birth (< 37 gestational weeks) is associated with long-term risks for health and neurodevelopment, but recently, studies have also started exploring how preterm birth affects early language development in the 1st year of life. Because the timing and quality of auditory and visual input is very different for preterm versus full-term infants,...
Chapter
Monolingual English 4-year-olds were administered a Subject-Verb agreement comprehension task that included stimuli such as 'the boys spinø versus the boyø spins (…/freely/in the hall)'. They were categorized as users of Mainstream American English (MAE) (N=8), Some Variation (N=9) and Strong Variation (N=9) based on the Diagnostic Evaluation of La...
Article
Full-text available
We examined French-learning toddlers’ sensitivity to Subject-Verb agreement with conjoined subjects. In French, a conjoined NP triggers plural agreement even when made up of individual singular NPs. Processing of this infrequent structure in the input (see Corpus Analyses) requires going beyond surface patterns of non-adjacent dependencies to abstr...
Article
Full-text available
Vowel harmony is a linguistic phenomenon whereby vowels within a word share one or several of their phonological features, constituting a nonadjacent, and thus challenging, dependency to learn. It can be found in a large number of agglutinating languages, such as Hungarian and Turkish, and it may apply both at the lexical level (i.e., within word s...
Article
Individual variability in infant's language processing is partly explained by environmental factors, like the quantity of parental speech input, as well as by infant‐specific factors, like speech production. Here we explore how these factors affect infant word segmentation. We used an artificial language to ensure that only statistical regularities...
Article
Full-text available
While words are distinguished primarily by consonants and vowels in many languages, tones are also used in the majority of the world's languages to cue lexical contrasts. However, studies on novel word learning have largely concentrated on consonants and vowels. To shed more light on the use of tonal information in novel word learning and its relat...
Article
Full-text available
Interacting processes and developmental biases allow learners to crack the “what” code and the “who” code in spoken language - Volume 39 Issue 4 - Linda Polka, Thierry Nazzi
Article
Perceptual grouping is fundamental to many auditory processes. The Iambic–Trochaic Law (ITL) is a default grouping strategy, where rhythmic alternations of duration are perceived iambically (weak‐strong), while alternations of intensity are perceived trochaically (strong‐weak). Some argue that the ITL is experience dependent. For instance, French s...
Article
Full-text available
Segmentation skill and the preferential processing of consonants (C-bias) develop during the second half of the first year of life and it has been proposed that these facilitate language acquisition. We used Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neural bases of early word form segmentation, and of the early processing of onset co...
Article
Infants born preterm have higher risks of developing linguistic deficits. Considering that the ability to segment words from fluent speech is crucial for lexical acquisition, Experiment 1 tested the ability of healthy extremely-to-late preterm infants to segment monosyllabic words at 6 months of postnatal age. Results establish basic segmentation s...
Article
Studies across many languages (e.g., Dutch, English, Farsi, Spanish, Xhosa) have failed to show early acquisition of subject–verb (SV) agreement, whereas recent studies on French reveal acquisition by 30 months of age. Using a similar procedure as in previous French studies, the current study evaluated whether earlier comprehension of SV agreement...
Preprint
The field of psychology has become increasingly concerned with issues related to methodology and replicability. Infancy researchers face specific challenges related to replicability: high-powered studies are difficult to conduct, testing conditions vary across labs, and different labs have access to different infant populations, amongst other facto...
Article
The ideal of scientific progress is that we accumulate measurements and integrate these into theory, but recent discussion of replicability issues has cast doubt on whether psychological research conforms to this model. Developmental research—especially with infant participants—also has discipline-specific replicability challenges, including small...
Article
Given that nouns rarely appear in isolation in French, infants acquiring the language must often retrieve the underlying representation of vowel-initial lexical forms from liaison contexts that provide conflicting information about the initial phoneme. Given this ambiguity, how do learners represent these nouns in their lexicons, and how do these r...
Article
Characterizing the nature of linguistic representations and how they emerge during early development is a central goal in the cognitive science of language. One area in which this development plays out is in the acquisition of dependencies—relationships between co-occurring elements in a word, phrase, or sentence. These dependencies often involve m...
Article
Language experience clearly affects the perception of speech, but little is known about whether these differences in perception extend to non-speech sounds. In this study, we investigated rhythmic perception of non-linguistic sounds in speakers of French and German using a grouping task, in which complexity (variability in sounds, presence of pause...
Article
Full-text available
The present study applies a multidimensional methodological approach to the study of the acquisition of morphosyntax. It focuses on evaluating the degree of productivity of an infrequent subject-verb agreement pattern in the early acquisition of French and considers the explanatory role played by factors such as input frequency, semantic transparen...
Article
Experience with spoken language starts prenatally, as hearing becomes operational during the second half of gestation. While maternal tissues filter out many aspects of speech, they readily transmit speech prosody and rhythm. These properties of the speech signal then play a central role in early language acquisition. In this study, we ask how the...
Article
Full-text available
Consonants have been proposed to carry more of the weight of lexical processing than vowels. This consonant bias has consistently been found in adults and has been proposed to facilitate early language acquisition. We explore the origins of this bias over the course of development and in infants learning different languages. Although the consonant...
Article
Full-text available
Rhythm perception is assumed to be guided by a domain-general auditory principle, the Iambic/Trochaic Law, stating that sounds varying in intensity are grouped as strong-weak, and sounds varying in duration are grouped as weak-strong. Recently, Bhatara et al. (2013) showed that rhythmic grouping is influenced by native language experience, French l...
Article
The division of labor hypothesis proposed by Nespor, Peña, and Mehler (2003) postulates that consonants are more important than vowels in lexical processing (when learning and recognizing words). This consonant bias (C-bias) is supported by many adult and toddler studies. However, some cross-linguistic variation has been found in toddlerhood, and v...
Article
Full-text available
Rhythm in music and speech can be characterized by a constellation of several acoustic cues. Individually, these cues have different effects on rhythmic perception: sequences of sounds alternating in duration are perceived as short-long pairs (weak-strong/iambic pattern), whereas sequences of sounds alternating in intensity or pitch are perceived a...
Data
Segment from the middle of the familiarization stream with the three test conditions: (A) Intensity condition, (B) Pitch condition, and (C) Duration condition.
Article
By the end of their first year of life, infants’ representations of familiar words contain phonetic detail; yet little is known about the nature of these representations at the very beginning of word learning. Bouchon et al. (2015) showed that French-learning 5-month-olds could detect a vowel change in their own name and not a consonant change, but...
Article
Full-text available
Infants start learning the prosodic properties of their native language before 12 months, as shown by the emergence of a trochaic bias in English-learning infants between 6 and 9 months (Jusczyk et al., 1993), and in German-learning infants between 4 and 6 months (Höhle et al., 2009, 2014), while French-learning infants do not show a bias at 6 mont...
Article
The present study explored whether the phonological bias favoring consonants found in French-learning infants and children when learning new words (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005) is language-general, as proposed by Nespor, Peña and Mehler (2003), or varies across languages, perhaps as a function of the phonological or lexical properties of the la...
Article
Full-text available
Le statut syntaxique et phonologique des pronoms en créole haïtien et en français a fait l’objet de débats. Les analyses linguistiques classiques du français formulées dans la tradition générative ont proposé une distinction entre les pronoms forts et les pronoms faibles ou ‘clitiques’. Tandis que les pronoms forts se comportent comme des syntagmes...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The repeated presentation of stimuli typically attenuates neural responses (repetition suppression) or, less commonly, increases them (repetition enhancement) when stimuli are highly complex, degraded or presented under noisy conditions. In adult functional neuroimaging research, these repetition effects are considered as neural correl...
Article
Lexical acquisition relies on many mechanisms, one of which corresponds to segmentation abilities, that is, the ability to extract word forms from fluent speech. This ability is important since words are rarely produced in isolation even when talking to infants. The present study explored whether young French-learning infants segment from fluent sp...
Research
Full-text available
The present study applies a multi-dimensional methodological approach to the study of the acquisition of morpho-syntax. It focuses on evaluating the degree of productivity of an infrequent subject-verb agreement pattern in the early acquisition of French and considers the explanatory role played by factors such as input frequency, semantic transpar...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have shown that preterm children are at a higher risk for cognitive and language delays than full-term children. Most of these studies have concentrated on the effects of prematurity during the preschool or school years, while the effect of preterm birth on the early development of language, much of which occurs during the first ye...
Article
French-learning infants have language-specific difficulties in processing lexical stress due to the lack of lexical stress in French. These difficulties in discriminating between words with stress-initial (trochaic) and stress-final (iambic) patterns emerge by 10 months of age in the easier context of low variability (using a single item pronounced...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to compute non-adjacent regularities is key in the acquisition of a new language. In the domain of phonology/phonotactics, sensitivity to non-adjacent regularities between consonants has been found to appear between 7 and 10 months. The present study focuses on the emergence of a posterior-anterior (PA) bias, a regularity involving two...
Article
Full-text available
Infants have remarkable abilities to learn several languages. However, phonological acquisition in bilingual infants appears to vary depending on the phonetic similarities or differences of their two native languages. Many studies suggest that learning contrasts with different realizations in the two languages (e.g., the /p/, /t/, /k/ stops have si...
Article
There has been increasing interest in links between language and music. Here, we investigate the relation between foreign language learning and music perception. We administered tests measuring melody and rhythm perception as well as a questionnaire on musical and foreign language experience to 147 monolingual French speakers. As expected, we found...
Article
Recently, several studies have argued that infants capitalize on the statistical properties of natural languages to acquire the linguistic structure of their native language, but the kinds of constraints which apply to statistical computations remain largely unknown. Here we explored French-learning infants' perceptual preference for labial-coronal...
Article
Full-text available
Consonants and vowels differ acoustically and articulatorily, but also functionally: Consonants are more relevant for lexical processing, and vowels for prosodic/syntactic processing. These functional biases could be powerful bootstrapping mechanisms for learning language, but their developmental origin remains unclear. The relative importance of c...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has suggested that comprehension of agreement morphology is surprisingly late (e.g. compared to production), prompting explanations attributing acquisition difficulty to various universal or language-particular features of agreement. In this paper we synthesize research from three languages—French, Spanish, and English—to argue th...
Article
Full-text available
In the literature, consonants have been proposed to be more important than vowels in lexical activation and access processes. However, despite a large body of evidence in the infant and adult literature, a recent study revealed a disappearance of the bias in newly learned words over the preschool years (Havy, Bertoncini, & Nazzi, 2011). As a first...
Article
Full-text available
WORD FORM SEGMENTATION ABILITIES EMERGE DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE, AND IT HAS BEEN PROPOSED THAT INFANTS INITIALLY RELY ON TWO TYPES OF CUES TO EXTRACT WORDS FROM FLUENT SPEECH: Transitional Probabilities (TPs) and rhythmic units. The main goal of the present study was to use the behavioral method of the Headturn Preference Procedure (HPP) to i...
Article
Full-text available
Perceptual attunement to one's native language results in language-specific processing of speech sounds. This includes stress cues, instantiated by differences in intensity, pitch, and duration. The present study investigates the effects of linguistic experience on the perception of these cues by studying the Iambic-Trochaic Law (ITL), which states...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Following the proposal that consonants are more involved than vowels in coding the lexicon (Nespor, Peña & Mehler, 2003), an early lexical consonant bias was found from age 1;2 in French but an equal sensitivity to consonants and vowels from 1;0 to 2;0 in English. As different tasks were used in French and English, we sought to clarify thi...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
In the literature, consonants have been proposed to be more important than vowels in lexical activation and access processes. However, despite a large body of evidence in the infant and adult literature, a recent study revealed a disappearance of the bias in newly learned words over the preschool years (Havy et al., 2011). As a first explanation of...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have shown that during the first year of life infants start learning the prosodic, phonetic and phonotactic properties of their native language. In parallel, infants start associating sound sequences with semantic representations. However, the question of how these two processes interact remains largely unknown. The current study explo...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: In this study, the authors explored whether French-learning infants use nonadjacent phonotactic regularities in their native language, which they learn between the ages of 7 and 10 months, to segment words from fluent speech. Method: Two groups of 20 French-learning infants were tested using the head-turn preference procedure at 10 and...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: The present study explores phonetic processing in deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) when they have to learn phonetically similar words. Forty-six 34-to-78-month-old French-speaking deaf children with CIs were tested on 16 different trials. In each trial, they were first trained with two word-object pairings, and then a third o...