Children's attention to rigid and deformable shape in naming and non-naming tasks

Samuelson, Larissa K. and Smith, Linda B. (2000) Children's attention to rigid and deformable shape in naming and non-naming tasks. Child Development, 71 (6). pp. 1555-1570. ISSN 0009-3920

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Abstract

In four experiments with three-year-olds (N= 67), we investigate children's understanding of the differential importance of shape for categorization of solid rigid objects with fixed shapes and solid but deformable objects with shapes that can be changed. In a non-naming task we find that young children categorize rigid and deformable things differently and know that material is important for deformable things and shape for rigid things. In two naming tasks, however, children generalize names for both solid and deformable objects by shape similarity and disregard rigidity. To understand this pattern of results we examine a corpus of early-learned nouns and the kinds of rigid and nonrigid things named by nouns in that corpus. The results suggest that names for categories of solid, rigid objects in which instances are similar in shape dominate children's early noun vocabularies. We suggest that children's novel word generalizations for deformable things may be overgeneralizations of this dominant pattern.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2015 16:01
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 14:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/55240
DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00248

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