NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED262562
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Children's Word-Learning Strategies.
Au, Terry Kit-Fong
Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, v24 p22-29 Aug 1985
Two studies were performed to determine the process used by young children to figure out the meaning of a new word. It was hypothesized that the children would use one of two strategies: (1) ignore the word and wait for more information, or learn only what is unambiguous about it, or (2) make a reasonable but uncertain guess, quickly setting up relatively complete but sometimes faulty semantic representations for new words. In one study, 3-year-olds were exposed to the word "ecru" using a beige cup with an unusual shape in one of three conditions: contrastive information given, a label only given, and a control condition in which the word "ecru" was not given at all. The children were given a cup identification task and a hyponym task. Results indicated that some children used the latter, error-prone strategy. In a second study, 4- to 8-year-olds and adults were exposed to the same experimental design but heard "ecru" contrasted with "red." Similar results were found: some children and adults use the more error-prone strategy for word learning, and a general bias exists favoring shape and category labels over color. Questions concerning a possible hierarchy of attributes considered by word learners and concerning the situations in which learners need and use linguistic contrast are discussed, and further research is recommended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A