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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31377

Title: The Use of Grammatical and Social Cues in Early Referential Mapping
Authors: Paquette-Smith, Melissa
Advisor: Johnson, Elizabeth
Department: Psychology
Keywords: word learning
language acquisition
plural inflection
grammatical cues
singular-plural distinction
social cues
eye gaze
Issue Date: 15-Dec-2011
Abstract: The preferential looking paradigm was used to investigate how toddlers integrate recently learned grammatical cues with well-established social cues in a novel word-learning scenario. To test this we examined children’s ability to decipher the referent of a novel noun using the grammatical information from a plural cue and social information from an eye-gaze cue. Experiment 1 is the first study showing that children as young as 24 months of age can rely on plural markings alone to infer the referent of a novel noun. Preliminary results of Experiment 2 suggest that when the plural cue is presented alongside contradicting information from a gaze direction cue, children still map the novel word to the grammatically cued object. Taken together, these results suggest that by the time children reach their second birthday, even newly learned grammatical information, such as plural markings, might already outweigh established social cues.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31377
Appears in Collections:Master

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