ERIC Number: EJ893652
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Preschoolers' Extension of Novel Words to Animals and Artifacts
Graham, Susan A.; Welder, Andrea N.; Merrifield, Beverley A.; Berman, Jared M.
Journal of Child Language, v37 n4 p913-927 Sep 2010
We examined whether preschoolers' ontological knowledge would influence lexical extension. In Experiment 1, four-year-olds were presented with a novel label for either an object with eyes described as an animal, or the same object without eyes described as a tool. In the animal condition, children extended the label to similar-shaped objects, whereas in the tool condition, children extended the label to similar-function objects. In Experiment 2, when four-year-olds were presented with objects with eyes described as tools, they extended the label on the basis of shared function. These experiments suggest that preschoolers' conceptual knowledge guides their lexical extension.
Descriptors: Animals, Vocabulary Development, Language Acquisition, Preschool Children, Knowledge Level, Child Language
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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