NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ784560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Infants Rapidly Learn Word-Referent Mappings via Cross-Situational Statistics
Smith, Linda; Yu, Chen
Cognition, v106 n3 p1558-1568 Mar 2008
First word learning should be difficult because any pairing of a word and scene presents the learner with an infinite number of possible referents. Accordingly, theorists of children's rapid word learning have sought constraints on word-referent mappings. These constraints are thought to work by enabling learners to resolve the ambiguity inherent in any labeled scene to determine the speaker's intended referent at that moment. The present study shows that 12- and 14-month-old infants can resolve the uncertainty problem in another way, not by unambiguously deciding the referent in a single word-scene pairing, but by rapidly evaluating the statistical evidence across many individually ambiguous words and scenes.
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A