“Language learners rapidly acquire extensive semantic knowledge, but the development of this knowledge is difficult to study, in part because it is difficult to assess young children’s lexical semantic representations. In our studies, we solved this problem by investigating lexical semantic knowledge in 24-month-olds using the Head-turn Preference
Procedure. In Experiment 1, looking times to a repeating spoken word stimulus (e.g., kitty-kitty-kitty) were shorter for trials preceded by a semantically related word (e.g., dog-dog-dog) than trials preceded by an unrelated word (e.g., juice-juice-juice). Experiment 2 yielded similar results using a method in which pairs of words were presented on the same trial. The studies provide Crizotinib price evidence that young children activate of lexical semantic knowledge, BMN 673 order and critically, that they do so in the absence of visual referents or sentence contexts. Auditory lexical priming is a promising technique for studying the development and structure of semantic knowledge in young children. “
“The aim of this study was to examine the combined influences of infants’ attention and use of social cues in the prediction of their language outcomes. This longitudinal study measured infants’ visual attention on a distractibility task (11 months), joint attention (14 months), and language outcomes (word–object
association, 14 months; MBCDI vocabulary size and multi-word productions at 18 months of age). Path analyses were conducted for two different language outcomes. The analysis for vocabulary revealed unique direct prediction from infants’
visual attention on a distractibility task (i.e., maintaining attention to a target event in the presence of competing events) and joint attention (i.e., more frequent response click here to tester’s bids for attention) for larger vocabulary size at outcome; this model accounted for 48% of variance in vocabulary, after controlling for baseline communication status (assessed at 11 months). The analysis for multi-word productions yielded direct effects for infants’ distractibility, but not joint attention; this model accounted for 45% of variance in multi-word productions, again after controlling for baseline communication status. Indirect effects were not significant in either model. Results are discussed in light of the unique predictive role of attentional factors and social/attention cues for emerging language. “
“Two studies illustrate the functional significance of a new category of prelinguistic vocalizing—object-directed vocalizations (ODVs)—and show that these sounds are connected to learning about words and objects. Experiment 1 tested 12-month-old infants’ perceptual learning of objects that elicited ODVs. Fourteen infants’ vocalizations were recorded as they explored novel objects.