NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1090682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Three-Year-Olds Can Predict a Noun Based on an Attributive Adjective: Evidence from Eye-Tracking
Tribushinina, Elena; Mak, Willem M.
Journal of Child Language, v43 n2 p425-441 Mar 2016
This paper investigates whether three-year-olds are able to process attributive adjectives (e.g., "soft pillow") as they hear them and to predict the noun ("pillow") on the basis of the adjective meaning ("soft"). This was investigated in an experiment by means of the Visual World Paradigm. The participants saw two pictures (e.g., a pillow and a book) and heard adjective-noun combinations, where the adjective was either informative (e.g., "soft") or uninformative (e.g., "new") about the head-noun. The properties described by the target adjectives were not visually apparent. When the adjective was uninformative, the looks at the target increased only upon hearing the noun. When the adjective was informative, however, the looks at the target increased upon hearing the adjective. Three-year-olds were as fast as adult controls in predicting the upcoming noun. We conclude that toddlers process adjective-noun phrases incrementally and can predict the noun based on the prenominal adjective.
Cambridge University Press. 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994-2133. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Fax: 845-353-4141; e-mail:; Web site:
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