ERIC Number: EJ1004688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Associative Word Learning in Monolingual and Bilingual Infants
Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Fennell, Christopher T.; Werker, Janet F.
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, v16 n1 p198-205 Jan 2013
Children growing up bilingual face a unique linguistic environment. The current study investigated whether early bilingual experience influences the developmental trajectory of associative word learning, a foundational mechanism for lexical acquisition. Monolingual and bilingual infants (N = 98) were tested on their ability to learn dissimilar-sounding words ("lif" and "neem") in the Switch task. Twelve-month-olds from both language backgrounds failed to detect a violation of a previously taught word-object pairing. However, both monolinguals and bilinguals succeeded at 14 months, and their performance did not differ. The results indicate that early bilingual experience does not interfere with the development of the fundamental ability to form word-object associations, suggesting that this mechanism is robust across different early language environments.
Descriptors: Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, Monolingualism, Infants, Associative Learning, Vocabulary Development, Task Analysis, Developmental Stages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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