Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Pui-Fong Kan

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of both word-form rehearsal and language experience on fast mapping production and comprehension skills. This experiment studied thirty Spanish-English bilingual young adults. The experimental portion of the study contained four main parts: (1) word-form rehearsal, (2) presentation (3) production, and (4) comprehension. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of three word-form rehearsal conditions. Each participant began the experiment by repeating a set of sixteen novel nonwords either fifteen times each, five times each, or zero times (control group). Next, the participants were presented a visual and auditory nonword stimulus simultaneously. Next, each participant was aurally asked to verbally produce the nonword when presented with a visual stimulus. Finally, each participant was asked to identify a specific visual stimulus that corresponds with an aurally resented nonword. The participants completed these four tasks in two phonologically similar anguages (English and Spanish) and one phonologically unfamiliar language (Cantonese). Results demonstrated that the more speech training a participant undergoes, the better the performance on production fast mapping tasks. Results also showed a significant language effect, with participants performing better on fast mapping tasks in the familiar languages (English and Spanish).

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