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Nomikou, Iris; Rohlfing, Katharina J.; Cimiano, Philipp; Mandler, Jean M. – Language Learning and Development, 2019
Applying an eye-tracking technique, we tested early verb understanding in 48 infants aged 9 and 10 months. Infants saw two objects presented side by side and heard a verb that referred to a common action with one of these objects (e.g., eating relating to a banana). The verbs were spoken by the parent in an interrogative manner in order to elicit…
Descriptors: Eye Movements, Verbs, Infants, Infant Behavior
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Koulaguina, Elena; Legendre, Géraldine; Barrière, Isabelle; Nazzi, Thierry – Language Learning and Development, 2019
We examined French-learning toddlers' sensitivity to Subject-Verb agreement with conjoined subjects. In French, a conjoined NP triggers plural agreement even when made up of individual singular NPs. Processing of this infrequent structure in the input (see Corpus Analyses) requires going beyond surface patterns of non-adjacent dependencies to…
Descriptors: Syntax, Verbs, Toddlers, Language Acquisition
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Ferguson, Brock; Graf, Eileen; Waxman, Sandra R. – Language Learning and Development, 2018
We assessed 24-month-old infants' lexical processing efficiency for both novel and familiar words. Prior work documented that 19-month-olds successfully identify referents of familiar words (e.g., The dog is so little) as well as novel words whose meanings were informed only by the surrounding sentence (e.g., The vep is crying), but that the speed…
Descriptors: Verbs, Nouns, Language Processing, Comparative Analysis
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Koring, Loes; Mak, Pim; Mulders, Iris; Reuland, Eric – Language Learning and Development, 2018
Previous studies have demonstrated that, for adults, differences between unaccusative verbs (e.g., "fall") and unergative verbs (e.g., "dance") lead to a difference in processing. However, so far we don't know whether this effect shows up in children's processing of these verbs as well. This study measures children's processing…
Descriptors: Language Processing, Verbs, Adults, Children
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Wagner, Katie; Jergens, Jill; Barner, David – Language Learning and Development, 2018
Previous studies report that children use color words haphazardly before acquiring conventional, adult-like meanings. The most common explanation for this is that children do not abstract color as a domain of linguistic meaning until several months after they begin producing color words, resulting in a stage during which they produce but do not…
Descriptors: Color, Toddlers, Vocabulary Development, Semantics
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Nordmeyer, Ann E.; Frank, Michael C. – Language Learning and Development, 2018
Adults find negative sentences difficult to process, but an informative context can facilitate processing substantially, suggesting that much of this difficulty may come from the pragmatics of negation. Are children sensitive to the pragmatics of negation as well? Although children perform poorly on many tests of negation comprehension, we argue…
Descriptors: Pragmatics, Language Acquisition, Sentence Structure, Toddlers
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McDonald, Margarethe; Gross, Megan; Buac, Milijana; Batko, Michelle; Kaushanskaya, Margarita – Language Learning and Development, 2018
This study tested the effect of Spanish-accented speech on sentence comprehension in children with different degrees of Spanish experience. The hypothesis was that earlier acquisition of Spanish would be associated with enhanced comprehension of Spanish-accented speech. Three groups of 5-6-year-old children were tested: monolingual…
Descriptors: Bilingualism, Monolingualism, Language Processing, English
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Suzuki, Takaaki; Kobayashi, Tessei – Language Learning and Development, 2017
Syntactic bootstrapping facilitates children's initial learning of verb meanings based on syntactic information. A challenging case is the argument-drop languages, where the number of argument NPs is not a reliable cue for distinguishing between transitive and intransitive verbs. Despite this fact, the availability of syntactic bootstrapping in…
Descriptors: Syntax, Cues, Grammar, Verbs
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Kedar, Yarden; Casasola, Marianella; Lust, Barbara; Parmet, Yisrael – Language Learning and Development, 2017
We tested 12- and 18-month-old English-learning infants on a preferential-looking task which contrasted grammatically correct sentences using the determiner "the" vs. three ungrammatical conditions in which "the" was substituted by another English function word, a nonsense word, or omitted. Our design involved strict controls…
Descriptors: Infants, Language Acquisition, Vocabulary Development, Preferences
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Rissman, Lilia; Goldin-Meadow, Susan – Language Learning and Development, 2017
Across a diverse range of languages, children proceed through similar stages in their production of causal language: their initial verbs lack internal causal structure, followed by a period during which they produce causative overgeneralizations, indicating knowledge of a productive causative rule. We asked in this study whether a child not…
Descriptors: Verbs, Language Acquisition, Linguistic Input, Child Language
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Brandt, Silke; Nitschke, Sanjo; Kidd, Evan – Language Learning and Development, 2017
Structural priming is a useful laboratory-based technique for investigating how children respond to temporary changes in the distribution of structures in their input. In the current study we investigated whether increasing the number of object relative clauses (RCs) in German-speaking children's input changes their processing preferences for…
Descriptors: Priming, German, Phrase Structure, Linguistic Input
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Wojcik, Erica H. – Language Learning and Development, 2017
Two experiments investigated two-year-olds' retention and generalization of novel words across short and long time delays. Specifically, retention of newly learned words and generalization to novel exemplars or novel contexts were tested 1 min or 1 week after learning. Experiment 1 revealed successful retention as well as successful generalization…
Descriptors: Toddlers, Generalization, Vocabulary Development, Retention (Psychology)
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Lewis, Shevaun; Hacquard, Valentine; Lidz, Jeffrey – Language Learning and Development, 2017
Children under 4 years of age often evaluate belief reports based on reality instead of beliefs. They tend to reject sentences like, "John thinks that giraffes have stripes" on the grounds that giraffes do not have stripes. Previous accounts have proposed that such judgments reflect immature Theory of Mind or immature syntactic/semantic…
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Beliefs, Theory of Mind, Cognitive Ability
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Bergelson, Elika; Aslin, Richard – Language Learning and Development, 2017
The present study investigated infants' knowledge about familiar nouns. Infants (n = 46, 12-20-month-olds) saw two-image displays of familiar objects, or one familiar and one novel object. Infants heard either a matching word (e.g. "foot' when seeing foot and juice), a related word (e.g. "sock" when seeing foot and juice) or a nonce…
Descriptors: Semantics, Language Processing, Infants, Language Acquisition
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Hirose, Yuki; Mazuka, Reiko – Language Learning and Development, 2017
A noun can be potentially ambiguous as to whether it is a head on its own, or is a modifier of a Noun + Noun compound waiting for its head. This study investigates whether young children can exploit the prosodic information on a modifier constituent preceding the head to facilitate resolution of such ambiguity in Japanese. Evidence from English…
Descriptors: Language Processing, Intonation, Phonology, Suprasegmentals
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