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ERIC Number: EJ1087747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Discourse Bootstrapping: Preschoolers Use Linguistic Discourse to Learn New Words
Sullivan, Jessica; Barner, David
Developmental Science, v19 n1 p63-75 Jan 2016
When children acquire language, they often learn words in the absence of direct instruction (e.g. "This is a ball!") or even social cues to reference (e.g. eye gaze, pointing). However, there are few accounts of how children do this, especially in cases where the referent of a new word is ambiguous. Across two experiments, we test whether preschoolers (2- to 4-year-olds; n = 239) can learn new words by inferring the referent of a new word from the surrounding linguistic discourse. Across two experiments, we show that children as young as 2 can learn a new word from the linguistic discourse in which it appears. This suggests that children use the linguistic discourse in which a word appears to learn new words.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A