ERIC Number: EJ777149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May
Reference Count: 0
Restructuring of Similarity Neighbourhoods in the Developing Mental Lexicon
Storkel, Holly L.
Journal of Child Language, v29 n2 p251-274 May 2002
Previous evidence suggests that the structure of similarity neighbourhoods in the developing mental lexicon may differ from that of the fully developed lexicon. The similarity relationships used to organize words into neighbourhoods was investigated in 20 pre-school children (age 3;7 to 5;11) using a two alternative forced-choice classification task. Children classified the similarity of test words relative to a standard word to determine neighbourhood membership. The similarity relationship between the test and standard words varied orthogonally in terms of type of similarity and position of overlap. Standard words were drawn from neighbourhoods differing in density. Results showed that dense neighbourhoods were organized by phoneme similarity in the onset+nucleus or rhyme positions of overlap. In contrast, sparse neighbourhoods appeared to be organized by phoneme similarity in the onset+nucleus, but manner similarity in the rhyme. These results are integrated with previous findings from infants and adults to propose a developmental course of change in the mental lexicon.
Descriptors: Language Acquisition, Cognitive Processes, Child Development, Preschool Children, Phonemes, Language Classification, Orthographic Symbols, Dictionaries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A