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ERIC Number: EJ1188438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Aug
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Why "Choo-Choo" Is Better than "Train": The Role of Register-Specific Words in Early Vocabulary Growth
Ota, Mitsuhiko; Davies-Jenkins, Nicola; Skarabela, Barbora
Cognitive Science, v42 n6 p1974-1999 Aug 2018
Across languages, lexical items specific to infant-directed speech (i.e., 'baby-talk words') are characterized by a preponderance of onomatopoeia (or highly iconic words), diminutives, and reduplication. These lexical characteristics may help infants discover the referential nature of words, identify word referents, and segment fluent speech into words. If so, the amount of lexical input containing these properties should predict infants' rate of vocabulary growth. To test this prediction, we tracked the vocabulary size in 47 English-learning infants from 9 to 21 months and examined whether the patterns of growth can be related to measures of iconicity, diminutives, and reduplication in the lexical input at 9 months. Our analyses showed that both diminutives and reduplication in the input were associated with vocabulary growth, although measures of iconicity were not. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that phonological properties typical of lexical input in infant-directed speech play a role in early vocabulary growth.
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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