Scaff, Camila, Casillas, Marisa, Stieglitz, Jonathan and Cristia, Alejandrina (2023) Characterization of children's verbal input in a forager-farmer population using long-form audio recordings and diverse input definitions. Infancy, vol. 29 (n° 2). pp. 196-215.

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Identification Number : 10.1111/infa.12568


There is little systematically collected quantitative empirical data on how much linguistic input children in small-scale societies encounter, with some estimates suggesting low levels of directed speech. We report on an ecologically-valid analysis of speech experienced over the course of a day by young children (N = 24, 6–58 months old, 33% female) in a forager-horticulturalist population of lowland Bolivia. A permissive definition of input (i.e., including overlapping, background, and non-linguistic vocalizations) leads to massive changes in terms of input quantity, including a quadrupling of the estimate for overall input compared to a restrictive definition (only near and clear speech), while who talked to and around a focal child is relatively stable across input definitions. We discuss implications of these results for theoretical and empirical research into language acquisition.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: 28 November 2023
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Hoboken
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2024 10:08
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 13:48
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