Infants' learning about words and sounds in relation to objects
Journal/Book: Child Develop. 1999; 70: 350 Main Street, Ste 6, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Blackwell Publishers. 65-77.
Abstract: In acquiring language, babies learn not only that people can communicate about objects and events, but also that they typically use a particular kind of act as the communicative signal. The current studies asked whether 1-year-olds' learning of names during joint attention is guided by the expectation that names will be in the form of spoken words. In the first study, 13-month-olds were introduced to either a novel word or a novel sound-producing action (using a small noisemaker). Both the word and the sound were produced by a re searcher as she showed the baby a new toy during a joint attention episode. The baby's memory for the link between the word or sound and the object was tested in a multiple choice procedure. Thirteen-month-olds learned both the word-object and sound-object correspondences, as evidenced by their choosing the target reliably in response to hearing the word or sound on test trials, but not on control trials when no word or sound was present. In the second study, 13-month-olds, but not 20-month-olds, learned a new sound-object correspondence. These results indicate that infants initially accept a broad range of signals in communicative contexts and narrow the range with development.
Note: Article Woodward AL, Univ Chicago, Dept Psychol, 5848 S Univ Ave, Chicago,IL 60637 USA
Keyword(s): JOINT ATTENTION; CATEGORIZATION; MODALITY; LANGUAGE; CONTEXTS; GESTURE; ABILITY; SPEECH