Jennifer A. Schwade's research while affiliated with Cornell University and other places

Publications (19)

Article
Infants’ prelinguistic vocalizations reliably organize vocal turn‐taking with social partners, creating opportunities for learning to produce the sound patterns of the ambient language. This social feedback loop supporting early vocal learning is well‐documented, but its developmental origins have yet to be addressed. When do infants learn that the...
Article
Full-text available
Our prior research posits that the prelinguistic vocalizations of infants may elicit caregiver speech which is simplified in its linguistic structure. Caregivers’ speech clearly contributes to infants’ development; infants’ communicative and cognitive development are predicted by their ambient language environment. There are at least two sources of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
What is the function of babbling in language learning? Our recent findings suggest that infants’ immature vocalizations may elicit simplified linguistic responses from their caregivers. The contributions of parental speech to infant development are well established; individual differences in the number of words in infants’ ambient language environm...
Article
Full-text available
What is the function of babbling in language learning? We examined the structure of parental speech as a function of contingency on infants’ non-cry prelinguistic vocalizations. We analyzed several acoustic and linguistic measures of caregivers’ speech. Contingent speech was less lexically diverse and shorter in utterance length than non-contingent...
Article
In typical development, communicative skills such as language emerge from infants' ability to combine multisensory information into cohesive percepts. For example, the act of associating the visual or tactile experience of an object with its spoken name is commonly used as a measure of early word learning, and social attention and speech perception...
Article
Statistical learning (SL), sensitivity to probabilistic regularities in sensory input, has been widely implicated in cognitive and perceptual development. Little is known, however, about the underlying mechanisms of SL and whether they undergo developmental change. One way to approach these questions is to compare SL across perceptual modalities. W...
Article
In human infants, the ability to share attention with others is facilitated by increases in attentional selectivity and focus. Differences in early attention have been associated with socio‐cognitive outcomes including language, yet the social mechanisms of attention organization in early infancy have only recently been considered. Here, we examine...
Article
What is the social function of babbling? An important function of prelinguistic vocalizing may be to elicit parental behavior in ways that facilitate the infant's own learning about speech and language. Infants use parental feedback to their babbling to learn new vocal forms, but the microstructure of parental responses to babbling has not been stu...
Article
Over the past two decades, elicited and deferred imitation have emerged as widely used paradigms for the assessment of developmental changes in children's memory abilities. To be implemented effectively, the use of elicited imitation begins with the selection of to-be-remembered material that presents an appropriate level of challenge to the develo...
Article
Attention to variability in early declarative memory is not only important in its own right but also an essential component in the examination of relations among individual differences in early memory and other individual characteristics such as temperament and language. Although less attention has been paid to them, relative to the attention paid...
Article
Two studies illustrate the functional significance of a new category of prelinguistic vocalizing—object-directed vocalizations (ODVs)—and show that these sounds are connected to learning about words and objects. Experiment 1 tested 12-month-old infants’ perceptual learning of objects that elicited ODVs. Fourteen infants’ vocalizations were recorded...
Article
How are hierarchically structured sequences of objects, events or actions learned from experience and represented in the brain? When several streams of regularities present themselves, which will be learned and which ignored? Can statistical regularities take effect on their own, or are additional factors such as behavioral outcomes expected to inf...
Article
Infant songbirds and humans face a similar task: to produce a functional repertoire of sounds that operates within the communication system of conspecifics. The mechanisms by which infants learn to talk and birds learn to sing share parallels at the neural, behavioral, and social levels of organization. By making immature sounds and observing the r...
Article
The early noncry vocalizations of infants are salient social signals. Caregivers spontaneously respond to 30%-50% of these sounds, and their responsiveness to infants' prelinguistic noncry vocalizations facilitates the development of phonology and speech. Have infants learned that their vocalizations influence the behavior of social partners? If th...
Article
Infants' prelinguistic vocalizations are rarely considered relevant for communicative development. As a result, there are few studies of mechanisms underlying developmental changes in prelinguistic vocal production. Here we report the first evidence that caregivers' speech to babbling infants provides crucial, real-time guidance to the development...

Citations

... What role do children play in structuring the learnability of the ambient language? By 9 months, infants can regulate the complexity of their caregivers' speech simply by vocalizing (Elmlinger, Park, Schwade, & Goldstein, 2021;Elmlinger, Schwade, & Goldstein, 2019a, 2019b. The causal flow from infants' vocalizations to changes in adult speech is established. ...
... What role do children play in structuring the learnability of the ambient language? By 9 months, infants can regulate the complexity of their caregivers' speech simply by vocalizing (Elmlinger, Park, Schwade, & Goldstein, 2021;Elmlinger, Schwade, & Goldstein, 2019a, 2019b. The causal flow from infants' vocalizations to changes in adult speech is established. ...
... Children with ASD seldom actively communicate with others in the form of speech-like vocalizations, according to the socially motivated deficiency model of the disorder. Additionally, the development of children's speech-like vocalizations requires the interaction of children and adults as two separate topics [28,72]. ...
... However, research on the acquisition of words for concrete objects mainly focuses on labeling visual objects, leaving many of the other modalities largely untouched (Friedrich & Friederici, 2008, 2011Horst & Samuelson, 2008;Junge et al., 2012;Smith & Yu, 2008;Taxitari et al., 2019;Werker et al., 1998). This is surprising as modality is known to have an impact on the parameters and the outcome of learning and memory (Emberson et al., 2019;Thiessen, 2010), but has often not been considered in the context of language learning. In order to learn the meaning of a word, the learner must first realize that there is a relationship between an object and its specific label. ...
... In a child's development, the ability to move and perform complex activities related to large and small motor skills is of particular importance [10,11]. Motor development affects the processes of thinking and processing stimuli reaching the child from the environment [12]. ...
... Naturalistic, observational studies have shown that infants are sensitive to the contingency of an adult partner. For example, responding contingently to an infant's gestures immediately improves the quality and quantity of the attention that they pay to objects [29,30]; and when caregivers behave redirectively (i.e. non-contingently), infants' visual attention durations immediately decrease [31,32]. ...
... Infants also acquire the ability to produce specific consonants in a relatively standard order across development [56], though language-specific differences in babbling emerge within the first year [5]. It has been suggested that babbling is a training ground for practicing multiple facets of communication: practicing the motor skills required to intentionally produce different sounds [26], practicing the most fundamental linguistic components of one's language [50], and practicing communicative turn-taking "conversation" with others [1,22]. ...
... We used play sessions for language exposure because studies showing benefits of language exposure typically involve social interactions. Social interaction has been previously documented to be crucial for learning vocal behavior, both in infants and in songbirds (see Goldstein & Schwade, 2010, for a review). In naturalistic play sessions, caregivers are more likely to respond to infants' productions of fully resonant vowels, and marginal and canonical syllables, than to their productions of other types of sounds (Gros-Louis, West, Goldstein & King, 2006). ...
... For example, adults simplify the linguistic structure of their speech when responding to babbling, creating a favourable environment for learning language [110]. Infants who hear object names in response to their object-directed vocalizing rapidly learned the names for the objects [111]. Thus, the social environment of a vocalizing infant is a source of rich structure that can guide advances in vocal learning. ...