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ERIC Number: EJ1024455
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 100
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Snapshots of Children's Changing Biases during Language Development: Differential Weighting of Perceptual and Linguistic Factors Predicts Noun Age of Acquisition
Ramey, Christopher H.; Chrysikou, Evangelia G.; Reilly, Jamie
Journal of Cognition and Development, v14 n4 p573-592 2013
Word learning is a lifelong activity constrained by cognitive biases that people possess at particular points in development. Age of acquisition (AoA) is a psycholinguistic variable that may prove useful toward gauging the relative weighting of different phonological, semantic, and morphological factors at different phases of language acquisition and development. Our aim here was to evaluate AoA as a statistical tool for taking "snapshots" of cognitive development. We examined a large corpus of English nouns ("n" = 1,381) with AoA as the outcome variable in three separate multivariate regressions, encompassing different age ranges (early-middle-late). Predictors included perceptual (e.g., imagery), phonological (e.g., phonological neighborhood density), and lexical (e.g., word length) factors. Different combinations of predictors accounted for significant proportions of the variance for different AoA ranges (i.e., early-middle-late). For example, imageability and frequency are stronger predictors of early relative to late word learning. These corpus analyses support a hybrid model of word learning in which multiple perceptual and linguistic factors are differentially weighted over time. This statistical approach may provide independent corroboration of and motivation for experimental studies in language learning and cognitive development.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A