ERIC Number: EJ849907
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Focusing on the Relation: Fewer Exemplars Facilitate Children's Initial Verb Learning and Extension
Maguire, Mandy J.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Brandone, Amanda C.
Developmental Science, v11 n4 p628-634 Jul 2008
One of the most prominent theories for why children struggle to learn verbs is that verb learning requires the abstraction of relations between an object and its action (Gentner, 2003). Two hypotheses suggest how children extract relations to extend a novel verb: (1) seeing "many different" exemplars allows children to detect the invariant relation between actions in different contexts (Gentner, 2003), and (2) repetition of "fewer" exemplars allows children to move beyond the entities involved to extract the relation (Kersten & Smith, 2002). We tested 2 1/2- and 3-year-olds' ability to extend a novel verb after viewing the repetition of one novel actor compared to four different actors performing a novel action. Both ages were better at learning and extending a novel verb to a novel actor when shown only one actor rather than four different actors. These results indicate that during initial verb learning less information is more effective.
Descriptors: Verbs, Child Development, Young Children, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Age Differences, Developmental Stages, Language Acquisition, Visual Stimuli
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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