ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (6): 565-574.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00565

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Transitional probabilities and expectation for word length impact verbal statistical learning

YU Wenbo1, WANG Lu1, QU Xingfang1, WANG Tianlin2, ZHANG Jingjing3, LIANG Dandan1()   

  1. 1School of Chinese Language and Culture, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
    2School of Education, University at Albany, State University of New York, New York 12222, USA
  • Received:2020-07-11 Published:2021-06-25 Online:2021-04-29
  • Contact: LIANG Dandan
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by The Social Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province(19yyc003);the construction project of advantageous disciplines in Jiangsu Universities (PAPD)


Verbal statistical learning refers to the process in which an individual can track the transitional probability between syllables to achieve the segmentation of speech flow and the extraction of words. In this study, we used a mixed experiment design of 2(transitional probability: high transitional probability, low transitional probability) × 2(word length expectation: two-syllable, three-syllable) to investigate the effects of transitional probability and word length expectation on the learning of speech statistics; the transitional probability is the variable between the subjects, and the word length expectation is the variable within the subjects. The post-test showed that there was no significant learning effect only under the condition of three-syllable forced choice of artificial language with low transitional probability. The planned contrasts showed that after learning the artificial language with low transitional probability, the participants’ scores on the three-syllable forced test were significantly lower than those on the two-syllable forced choice task. In the three-syllable forced choice test, subjects’ scores of the artificial language with low transitional probability were also significantly lower than those with high transitional probability. These results showed that the transitional probability and word length expectation affected the individual statistical learning.

Key words: verbal statistical learning, word length expectation, transitional probabilities, prosody