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The precision of 12-month-old infants' link between language and categorization predicts vocabulary size at 12 and 18 months.

Ferguson B, Havy M, Waxman SR - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that, at 12 months, infants who had already established a precise link between labels and categories understood more words than those whose link was still broad.We conclude that individual differences in the precision of 12-month-old infants' links between language and categories provide a reliable window into their vocabulary development.We consider several causal explanations of this relation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA.

ABSTRACT
Infants' initially broad links between language and object categories are increasingly tuned, becoming more precise by the end of their first year. In a longitudinal study, we asked whether individual differences in the precision of infants' links at 12 months of age are related to vocabulary development. We found that, at 12 months, infants who had already established a precise link between labels and categories understood more words than those whose link was still broad. Six months later, this advantage held: At 18 months, infants who had demonstrated a precise link at 12 months knew and produced more words than did infants who had demonstrated a broad link at 12 months. We conclude that individual differences in the precision of 12-month-old infants' links between language and categories provide a reliable window into their vocabulary development. We consider several causal explanations of this relation.

No MeSH data available.


A representative set of familiarization and test phase stimuli. Each label was presented within the same sentence frame: “Look at the [label]! Do you see the [label]?”.
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Figure 1: A representative set of familiarization and test phase stimuli. Each label was presented within the same sentence frame: “Look at the [label]! Do you see the [label]?”.

Mentions: To measure infants’ precision in linking language to object categories, we adapted Waxman and Braun’s (2005) categorization task in which a different word was paired with each familiarization object (their Variable Word condition; see Figure 1). We used a set of stimuli for which the effect of consistently applying the same name had been previously established: For infants ranging from 3 to 12 months, infants who hear the same name consistently applied to these stimuli reliably form object categories (Fulkerson and Waxman, 2007). Here, however, we asked how infants fared when each familiarization object is named with a different word.


The precision of 12-month-old infants' link between language and categorization predicts vocabulary size at 12 and 18 months.

Ferguson B, Havy M, Waxman SR - Front Psychol (2015)

A representative set of familiarization and test phase stimuli. Each label was presented within the same sentence frame: “Look at the [label]! Do you see the [label]?”.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4553367&req=5

Figure 1: A representative set of familiarization and test phase stimuli. Each label was presented within the same sentence frame: “Look at the [label]! Do you see the [label]?”.
Mentions: To measure infants’ precision in linking language to object categories, we adapted Waxman and Braun’s (2005) categorization task in which a different word was paired with each familiarization object (their Variable Word condition; see Figure 1). We used a set of stimuli for which the effect of consistently applying the same name had been previously established: For infants ranging from 3 to 12 months, infants who hear the same name consistently applied to these stimuli reliably form object categories (Fulkerson and Waxman, 2007). Here, however, we asked how infants fared when each familiarization object is named with a different word.

Bottom Line: We found that, at 12 months, infants who had already established a precise link between labels and categories understood more words than those whose link was still broad.We conclude that individual differences in the precision of 12-month-old infants' links between language and categories provide a reliable window into their vocabulary development.We consider several causal explanations of this relation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA.

ABSTRACT
Infants' initially broad links between language and object categories are increasingly tuned, becoming more precise by the end of their first year. In a longitudinal study, we asked whether individual differences in the precision of infants' links at 12 months of age are related to vocabulary development. We found that, at 12 months, infants who had already established a precise link between labels and categories understood more words than those whose link was still broad. Six months later, this advantage held: At 18 months, infants who had demonstrated a precise link at 12 months knew and produced more words than did infants who had demonstrated a broad link at 12 months. We conclude that individual differences in the precision of 12-month-old infants' links between language and categories provide a reliable window into their vocabulary development. We consider several causal explanations of this relation.

No MeSH data available.