Infants show early comprehension of basic color words

Forbes, Samuel H. ORCID: and Plunkett, Kim (2019) Infants show early comprehension of basic color words. Developmental Psychology, 55 (2). pp. 240-249. ISSN 0012-1649

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (305kB) | Preview


Previous research has highlighted the difficulty that infants have in learning to use color words. Even after acquiring the words themselves, infants are reported to use them incorrectly, or overextend their usage. We tested 146 infants from 5 different age groups on their knowledge of 6 basic color words, red, green, yellow, blue, black, and white, using an intermodal preferential looking task. The results showed that infants show reliable comprehension of color words as early as 19 months of age. No order of acquisition effects were observed. In addition, infants' behavior in the task was facilitated by the provision of redundant noun information, "Look at the red car," and even general referential noun phrases, "Look at the red one," with greater looking to the target than when the color label was not presented in adjective position, "Look, red." The findings indicate that color words may be learned with greater ease than previously thought, verifying recent parental reports showing similar findings. The findings also suggest that 19 month olds have already developed an expectation that color labels should occur in adjectival position.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: color words,eye-tracking,word learning,demography,developmental and educational psychology,life-span and life-course studies ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3317
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 21:31
DOI: 10.1037/dev0000609


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item