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ERIC Number: EJ1038049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1524-8372
Young Children's Use of Contrast in Word Learning: The Case of Proper Names
Hall, D. Geoffrey; Rhemtulla, Mijke
Journal of Cognition and Development, v15 n4 p551-568 2014
Recent research has established that contrast can exert a powerful effect on early word learning. This study examined the role of contrast in young children's ability to learn proper names. Preschoolers heard a novel word for an unfamiliar stuffed animal in the presence of a second stuffed animal of either the same or a different kind. Children received contrastive information indicating that the word did not apply to the second animal. Children were more likely to interpret the word as a proper name if the second animal belonged to the same kind as the target than if it belonged to a different kind. Children did not appear to make a proper name interpretation in a control condition in which the second animal was not present, providing no contrastive information. The results reveal the strength of within-kind contrastive information to foster children's acquisition of proper names, highlighting the potency of comparison processes in early word learning.
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