NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ777525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Young Children's Expectation of Competence in Word Learning
Diesendruck, Gil; Shemer, Ginnat
Journal of Child Language, v33 n2 p321-338 May 2006
The study investigates a social-pragmatic expectation that may motivate children to search their environment when asked for the referent of a novel label. In one experimental phase, the experimenter presented 40 two-year-olds a bucket containing a novel object and another visible object--either familiar or novel. The experimenter either asked children for the referent of a novel label, or a non-specific question. In a second experimental phase, all children saw a bucket containing a novel object, and two visible objects--one familiar and one novel. We found that, in both phases, children tended to bypass the visible novel object, preferring instead to search inside the bucket for the referent of a novel label. These findings are consistent with an expectation--dubbed the "EXPECTATION OF COMPETENCE"--that if an adult asks a child for the referent of a name, it is because the adult likely believes that the child knows that name, and thus the child can expect to be capable of finding its referent. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Cambridge University Press. The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Tel: +44-1223-326070; Fax: 845-353-4141; Fax: +44-1223-325150; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel