NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1141640
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Is a Pink Cow Still a Cow? Individual Differences in Toddlers' Vocabulary Knowledge and Lexical Representations
Perry, Lynn K.; Saffran, Jenny R.
Cognitive Science, v41 n4 p1090-1105 May 2017
When a toddler knows a word, what does she actually know? Many categories have multiple relevant properties; for example, shape "and" color are relevant to membership in the category "banana." How do toddlers prioritize these properties when recognizing familiar words, and are there systematic differences among children? In this study, toddlers viewed pairs of objects associated with prototypical colors. On some trials, objects were typically colored (e.g., Holstein cow and pink pig); on other trials, colors were switched (e.g., pink cow and Holstein-patterned pig). On each trial, toddlers were directed to find a target object. Overall, recognition was disrupted when colors were switched, as measured by eye movements. Moreover, individual differences in vocabularies predicted recognition differences: Toddlers who say fewer shape-based words were more disrupted by color switches. "Knowing" a word may not mean the same thing for all toddlers; different toddlers prioritize different facets of familiar objects in their lexical representations.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
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: R37HD037466