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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 07:52 GMT
Research with accent on baby talk
Academics at the University of Plymouth are seeking hundreds of young volunteers to help find out how children pick up a particular accent.

Children up to the age of six are being sought to take part in experiments at the university's baby lab.

The testing sessions last about an hour and parents accompany their child throughout the process.

The research team is also keen to find out how babies learn so many new words so quickly.

Unresolved questions

Lecturers in language development Caroline Floccia and Kirsten Abbot-Smith plan to follow the children into their teens with their research, which is funded by the university's School of Psychology.

Dr Floccia said many questions about speech and language development were "unresolved".

"This year we have initiated two main directions of research - when and how do children acquire a particular accent in their maternal language and how children learn to describe who is doing what?"

They have already carried out research with young children who speak French and English and German and English respectively and are hoping to attract as many parents on to their database as possible.

They need hundreds of volunteers for the study to be successful.


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