ERIC Number: EJ1171638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
When "Veps" Cry: Two-Year-Olds Efficiently Learn Novel Words from Linguistic Contexts Alone
Ferguson, Brock; Graf, Eileen; Waxman, Sandra R.
Language Learning and Development, v14 n1 p1-12 2018
We assessed 24-month-old infants' lexical processing efficiency for both novel and familiar words. Prior work documented that 19-month-olds successfully identify referents of familiar words (e.g., The dog is so little) as well as novel words whose meanings were informed only by the surrounding sentence (e.g., The vep is crying), but that the speed with which they identify the referents of novel words lagged far behind that for familiar words. Here we take a developmental approach, extending this work to 24-month-olds. By comparing the performance of 19- and 24-month-olds directly, we document that during this period of rapid vocabulary growth, infants make significant processing gains for both familiar and novel words. We also offer the first evidence to date that, at both 19- and 24-months, the number of verbs infants know predicts their ability to use known verbs to learn novel nouns. These results reveal that 24-month-olds can efficiently learn novel words just by listening to the conversations around them.
Descriptors: Verbs, Nouns, Language Processing, Comparative Analysis, Age Differences, Infants, Language Acquisition, Interpersonal Communication, Linguistic Input, English, Eye Movements, Auditory Stimuli, Recall (Psychology), Prior Learning, Efficiency, Task Analysis, Individual Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HD083310; BCS1023300