What does it take to learn a word?

Samuelson, Larissa K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9141-3286 and McMurray, Bob (2017) What does it take to learn a word? WIREs Cognitive Science, 8 (1-2). ISSN 1939-5086

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Vocabulary learning is deceptively hard, but toddlers often make it look easy. Prior theories proposed that children’s rapid acquisition of words is based on language-specific knowledge and constraints. In contrast, more recent work converges on the view that word learning proceeds via domain-general processes that are tuned to richly structured—not impoverished—input. We argue that new theoretical insights, coupled with methodological tools, have pushed the field toward an appreciation of simple, content-free processes working together as a system to support the acquisition of words. We illustrate this by considering three central phenomena of early language development: referential ambiguity, fast-mapping, and the vocabulary spurt.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is part of a special collection on developmental systems designed to explore the powerful array of forces shaping the individual development of brains, bodies, and behavior. The collection was created and edited by Mark S. Blumberg (University of Iowa), John P. Spencer (University of East Anglia), and David Shenk (Author, The Genius in All of Us), in conjunction with the DeLTA Center at The University of Iowa. View the full collection: How We Develop – Developmental Systems and the Emergence of Complex Behaviors: http://wires.wiley.com/go/howwedevelop
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2016 16:00
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 01:35
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/60597
DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1421


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