The Richness of Distributional Cues to Word Boundaries in Speech to Young Children
Jarosz, Gaja & J. Alex Johnson. 2013. The Richness of Distributional Cues to Word Boundaries in Speech to Young Children. In Language Learning and Development 9(2), 175-210.
This study is a systematic analysis of the information content of a wide range of distributional cues to word boundaries, individually and in combination, in naturally occurring child-directed speech across three languages (English, Polish, and Turkish). The paper presents a series of statistical analyses examining the relative predictive strength of these cues, the overlap in the information about word boundaries they contain, and the variability in their relative strengths and interactions across the languages. We find that the information content of individual distributional cues is not constant across languages, with relative reliability of cues varying across languages and with individual cues providing much less information in Polish and Turkish than in English. However, we also find that when these cues are combined, the cumulative information content of a diverse array of distributional cues provides a significant source of information about word boundaries across all three languages.