Response to MacNeilage and Davis and to Oller.

Whalen, Douglas H. and Giulivi, Sara and Goldstein, Louis M. and Nam, Hosung and Levitt, Andrea G. (2011) Response to MacNeilage and Davis and to Oller. Language Learning and Development, 7 (3). pp. 243-249. ISSN 1547-5441

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The article by MacNeilage and Davis in this issue, entitled “In Defense of the ‘Frames, then Content’ (FC) Perspective on Speech Acquisition: A Response to Two Critiques” appears to assume that the only alternative to segment-level control is oscillation specifically of the jaw; however, other articulators could be oscillated by infants as well. This allows the preferred CV combinations to emerge without positing a level of segmental control in babbling. Their response does not address our modeling work, which, rather similarly to Davis’s own modeling (Serkhane, Schwartz, Boë, Davis, & Matyear, 2007), shows little support for the Frame-then-Content (F/C) account. Our results show substantial support for the Articulatory Phonology (AP) one. A closer look at feeding in infants shows substantial control of the tongue and lips, casting further doubt on the foundation of the F/C account.

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