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ERIC Number: EJ1139377
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 39
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
The Pursuit of Word Meanings
Stevens, Jon Scott; Gleitman, Lila R.; Trueswell, John C.; Yang, Charles
Cognitive Science, v41 suppl 4 p638-676 Apr 2017
We evaluate here the performance of four models of cross-situational word learning: two global models, which extract and retain multiple referential alternatives from each word occurrence; and two local models, which extract just a single referent from each occurrence. One of these local models, dubbed "Pursuit," uses an associative learning mechanism to estimate word-referent probability but pursues and tests the best referent-meaning at any given time. "Pursuit" is found to perform as well as global models under many conditions extracted from naturalistic corpora of parent-child interactions, even though the model maintains far less information than global models. Moreover, "Pursuit" is found to best capture human experimental findings from several relevant cross-situational word-learning experiments, including those of Yu and Smith (2007), the paradigm example of a finding believed to support fully global cross-situational models. Implications and limitations of these results are discussed, most notably that the model characterizes only the earliest stages of word learning, when reliance on the co-occurring referent world is at its greatest.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1R01HD37507