Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Learning Interaction Between Statistical Learning Experiments

Version 1 : Received: 28 May 2021 / Approved: 31 May 2021 / Online: 31 May 2021 (13:37:09 CEST)

How to cite: Richtsmeier, P.; Goffman, L. A Learning Interaction Between Statistical Learning Experiments. Preprints 2021, 2021050777 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0777.v1). Richtsmeier, P.; Goffman, L. A Learning Interaction Between Statistical Learning Experiments. Preprints 2021, 2021050777 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0777.v1).

Abstract

When participants in a statistical learning paradigm are asked to learn from two incompatible or competing inputs, they often fail to learn from one or both inputs. This study presents the results of two experiments that were both completed by one group of typically developing four-year-old children. One experiment targeted word-medial consonant patterns (phonotactics), whereas the other targeted strong-weak and weak-strong stress patterns (prosody). The order of the experiments was critical for learning outcomes in the phonotactics experiment: When children learned phonotactics first, their production accuracy increased following exposure to a high frequency input. When children learned phonotactics second, however, their production accuracy dropped when they were exposed to the high frequency input. Results from the prosody experiment were inconclusive, with limited evidence of any learning effect. Overall, the results suggest that children may conflate learning experiences, and patterns learned from an initial experimental input compete with patterns in a subsequent experiment. When considering natural language acquisition, the results suggest that an isolated episode of learning may lead to generalizations that are incompatible with later input, and possibly, with larger patterns in the language.

Subject Areas

statistical learning; experiment interaction; phonology; child speech; language acquisition

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