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Behavioral Methodologies in Infant Language Acquisition

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Behavioral methodologies in infant language acquisition generally involve measuring observable changes in an infant’s behavior to investigate infants’ understanding of the various components of language. Although the methodologies were initially developed to study infant speech/phonemic perception, variations have been used to study infants’ understanding of semantic and grammatical components of language. The predominant methodologies include measuring infant sucking rates and using infant orienting, gaze, and head-turn behaviors. Several versions of these methodologies have also used operant conditioning of specific behavioral responses to demonstrate perceptual discrimination in infants. The specific methodology employed often depends on two constraints: (1) the age group under investigation (older infants possess many more measureable behavioral responses in comparison to newborns) and (2) the specific nature of the research question being examined (e.g., perceptual...

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Correspondence to Christine D. Tsang .

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Tsang, C.D. (2012). Behavioral Methodologies in Infant Language Acquisition. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_399

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