Speech perception in infancy predicts language development in the second year of life: A longitudinal study

Feng Ming Tsao, Huei Mei Liu, Patricia K. Kuhl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

282 Citations (Scopus)


Infants' early phonetic perception is hypothesized to play an important role in language development. Previous studies have not assessed this potential link in the first 2 years of life. In this study, speech discrimination was measured in 6-month-old infants using a conditioned head-turn task. At 13, 16, and 24 months of age, language development was assessed in these same children using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory, Results demonstrated significant correlations between speech perception at 6 months of age and later language (word understanding, word production, phrase understanding). The finding that speech perception performance at 6 months predicts language at 2 years supports the idea that phonetic perception may play an important role in language acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1084
Number of pages18
JournalChild Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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