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ERIC Number: EJ1067916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Input Variability Facilitates Unguided Subcategory Learning in Adults
Eidsvåg, Sunniva Sørhus; Austad, Margit; Plante, Elena; Asbjørnsen, Arve E.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v58 n3 p826-839 Jun 2015
Purpose: This experiment investigated whether input variability would affect initial learning of noun gender subcategories in an unfamiliar, natural language (Russian), as it is known to assist learning of other grammatical forms. Method: Forty adults (20 men, 20 women) were familiarized with examples of masculine and feminine Russian words. Half of the participants were familiarized with 32 different root words in a high-variability condition. The other half were familiarized with 16 different root words, each repeated twice for a total of 32 presentations in a high-repetition condition. Participants were tested on untrained members of the category to assess generalization. Familiarization and testing was completed 2 additional times. Results: Only participants in the high-variability group showed evidence of learning after an initial period of familiarization. Participants in the high-repetition group were able to learn after additional input. Both groups benefited when words included 2 cues to gender compared to a single cue. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the degree of input variability can influence learners' ability to generalize a grammatical subcategory (noun gender) from a natural language. In addition, the presence of multiple cues to linguistic subcategory facilitated learning independent of variability condition.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1R01DC011276