Junge, C.M.M.; Cutler, A.; Hagoort, P.
Around their first birthday infants begin to talk, yet they comprehend words long before. This study investigated the event-related potentials (ERP) responses of nine-month-olds on basic level picture–word pairings. After a familiarization phase of six picture–word pairings per semantic category, co
Junge, Caroline; Cutler, Anne; Hagoort, Peter
Around their first birthday infants begin to talk, yet they comprehend words long before. This study investigated the event-related potentials (ERP) responses of nine-month-olds on basic level picture-word pairings. After a familiarization phase of six picture-word pairings per semantic category, co
Sparks, R L; Artzer, M
Children with hyperlexia read words spontaneously before the age of five, have impaired comprehension on both listening and reading tasks, and have word recognition skill above expectations based on cognitive and linguistic abilities. One student with hyperlexia and another student with higher word recognition than comprehension skills who started to read words at a very early age were followed over several years from the primary grades through high school when both were completing a second-year Spanish course. The purpose of the present study was to examine the foreign language (FL) word recognition, spelling, reading comprehension, writing, speaking, and listening skills of the two students and another high school student without hyperlexia. Results showed that the student without hyperlexia achieved higher scores than the hyperlexic student and the student with above average word recognition skills on most FL proficiency measures. The student with hyperlexia and the student with above average word recognition skills achieved higher scores on the Spanish proficiency tasks that required the exclusive use of phonological (pronunciation) and phonological/orthographic (word recognition, spelling) skills than on Spanish proficiency tasks that required the use of listening comprehension and speaking and writing skills. The findings provide support for the notion that word recognition and spelling in a FL may be modular processes and exist independently of general cognitive and linguistic skills. Results also suggest that students may have stronger FL learning skills in one language component than in other components of language, and that there may be a weak relationship between FL word recognition and oral proficiency in the FL. PMID:20563785
Horváth, Klára; Myers, Kyle; Foster, Russell; Plunkett, Kim
Little is known about the role that night-time sleep and daytime naps play in early cognitive development. Our aim was to investigate how napping affects word learning in 16-month-olds. Thirty-four typically developing infants were assigned randomly to nap and wake groups. After teaching two novel object-word pairs to infants, we tested their initial performance with an intermodal preferential looking task in which infants are expected to increase their target looking time compared to a distracter after hearing its auditory label. A second test session followed after approximately a 2-h delay. The delay contained sleep for the nap group or no sleep for the wake group. Looking behaviour was measured with an automatic eye-tracker. Vocabulary size was assessed using the Oxford Communicative Development Inventory. A significant interaction between group and session was found in preferential looking towards the target picture. The performance of the nap group increased after the nap, whereas that of the wake group did not change. The gain in performance correlated positively with the expressive vocabulary size in the nap group. These results indicate that daytime napping helps consolidate word learning in infancy. PMID:25950233
Full Text Available Word-learning likely involves a multiplicity of components, some domain-general, others domain-specific. Against the background of recent studies that suggest that word-learning is domain-specific, we investigated the associative component of word-learning. Seven- and 14-month-old infants viewed a pair of events in which a monkey or a truck moved back and forth, accompanied by a sung syllable or a tone, matched for pitch. Following habituation, infants were presented with displays in which the visual-auditory pairings were preserved or switched, and looked longer at the “switch” events when exposure time was sufficient to learn the intermodal association. At 7 months, performance on speech and tones conditions was statistically identical; at 14 months, infants had begun to favor speech. Thus, the associative component of word-learning does not appear (in contrast to rule-learning, Marcus et al., 2007 to initially privilege speech.
Kjærbæk, Laila; Boeg Thomsen, Ditte; Lambertsen, Claus;
Syllables play an important role in children’s early language acquisition, and children appear to rely on clear syllabic structures as a key to word acquisition (Vihman 1996; Oller 2000). However, not all languages present children with equally clear cues to syllabic structure, and since the...... acquisition therefore presents us with the opportunity to examine how children respond to the task of word learning when the input language offers less clear cues to syllabic structure than usually seen. To investigate the sound structure in Danish children’s lexical development, we need a model of syllable......-29 months. For the two children, the phonetic structure of the first ten words to occur is compared with that of the last ten words to occur before 30 months of age, and with that of ten words in between. Measures related to the sonority envelope, viz. sonority types and in particular sonority rises, are...
Nishibayashi, Léo-Lyuki; Goyet, Louise; Nazzi, Thierry
Lexical acquisition relies on many mechanisms, one of which corresponds to segmentation abilities, that is, the ability to extract word forms from fluent speech. This ability is important since words are rarely produced in isolation even when talking to infants. The present study explored whether young French-learning infants segment from fluent speech the rhythmic unit of their native language, the syllable. Using the Headturn Preference Procedure and the passage word order, we explored whether these infants can segment monosyllabic words (at 6 and 8 months), syllables embedded in bisyllabic words (at 6 months) and bisyllabic words (at 6 months). Our results bring direct evidence in support of the early rhythmic segmentation hypothesis, by establishing syllabic segmentation both for monosyllabic words and embedded syllables at 6 months, while failing to find segmentation of bisyllabic words at the same age. They also indirectly extend to French previously reported effects of coarticulation, acoustic variation and infant-directed speech on segmentation found in English. Therefore, our study contributes to a better understanding of the similarities and differences in early segmentation across languages, and thus to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying segmentation. PMID:26529900
Jaswal, Vikram K.; Hansen, Mikkel
, despite the speaker's unambiguous behavioral cue indicating an intent to refer to a familiar object, children inferred that the novel label referred to an unfamiliar object. These results suggest that children expect words to be mutually exclusive even when a speaker provides some kinds of pragmatic...
Crossley, Scott A.; Subtirelu, Nicholas; Salsbury, Tom
This study examines frequency, contextual diversity, and contextual distinctiveness effects in predicting produced versus not-produced frequent nouns and verbs by early second language (L2) learners of English. The study analyzes whether word frequency is the strongest predictor of early L2 word production independent of contextual diversity and…
Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry
Previous research showed that French-learning 16- or 20-month-olds could learn pairs of words that differed by a single consonantal but not vocalic feature. Danish has a richer vowel inventory than French, allowing for 31 phonological vowel contrasts, including vowel length and presence/absence o...... suggest that infants develop processing biases in word-learning depending on the sound-structure of their language....
Klintfors, Eeva; Lacerda, Francisco; Sundberg, Ulla
The purpose of this study was to assess characteristics of the growth of language in Swedish 7-15 months-old infants. More scpecifically, to estimate vocabulary composition (the 1st part of the study), information on 24 infants’ comprehension and production of speech was collected, and to investigate the role of adult-instructions for early word-learning ( the 2nd part of the study) video recordings of infant-adult interaction-dyads were produced. The vocabulary-data were collected based on p...
McDonough, Colleen; Song, Lulu; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Lannon, Robert
Nouns are generally easier to learn than verbs (e.g. Bornstein, 2005; Bornstein et al., 2004; Gentner, 1982; Maguire, Hirsh-Pasek & Golinkoff, 2006). Yet, verbs appear in children's earliest vocabularies, creating a seeming paradox. This paper examines one hypothesis about the difference between noun and verb acquisition. Perhaps the advantage…
Larissa K Samuelson
Full Text Available Humans and objects, and thus social interactions about objects, exist within space. Words direct listeners' attention to specific regions of space. Thus, a strong correspondence exists between where one looks, one's bodily orientation, and what one sees. This leads to further correspondence with what one remembers. Here, we present data suggesting that children use associations between space and objects and space and words to link words and objects--space binds labels to their referents. We tested this claim in four experiments, showing that the spatial consistency of where objects are presented affects children's word learning. Next, we demonstrate that a process model that grounds word learning in the known neural dynamics of spatial attention, spatial memory, and associative learning can capture the suite of results reported here. This model also predicts that space is special, a prediction supported in a fifth experiment that shows children do not use color as a cue to bind words and objects. In a final experiment, we ask whether spatial consistency affects word learning in naturalistic word learning contexts. Children of parents who spontaneously keep objects in a consistent spatial location during naming interactions learn words more effectively. Together, the model and data show that space is a powerful tool that can effectively ground word learning in social contexts.
Zamuner, Tania S.; Fais, Laurel; Werker, Janet F.
A central component of language development is word learning. One characterization of this process is that language learners discover objects and then look for word forms to associate with these objects (Mcnamara, 1984; Smith, 2000). Another possibility is that word forms themselves are also important, such that once learned, hearing a familiar…
Tomikawa, S A; Dodd, D H
The issue of whether early word meaning is based on perceptual (Eve Clark) or functional (Katherine Nelson) features has not been satisfactorily resolved by previous research. The present experiments addressed this issue by presenting young children (2- and 3-year-olds) with novel objects in which perceptual and functional features varied independently. Given choices of how to sort novel artificial objects varying in both aspects, children in experiments 1 and 2 chose perceptual features with few exceptions. Experiments 3 and 4 presented the same objects to children in a concept-learning task, where nonsense labels were to be learned for perceptually or functionally based categories; the latter were much more difficult. Experiment 5 was an extension of the first 2 experiments, except that more familiar objects were employed; comparable results were found. All of the results support 1 conclusion: early conceptualizations and word meanings are perceptually based when perceptual and functional features are independently available. PMID:7471919
Blythe, Richard A; Smith, Andrew D M; Smith, Kenny
Language learners must learn the meanings of many thousands of words, despite those words occurring in complex environments in which infinitely many meanings might be inferred by the learner as a word's true meaning. This problem of infinite referential uncertainty is often attributed to Willard Van Orman Quine. We provide a mathematical formalisation of an ideal cross-situational learner attempting to learn under infinite referential uncertainty, and identify conditions under which word learning is possible. As Quine's intuitions suggest, learning under infinite uncertainty is in fact possible, provided that learners have some means of ranking candidate word meanings in terms of their plausibility; furthermore, our analysis shows that this ranking could in fact be exceedingly weak, implying that constraints which allow learners to infer the plausibility of candidate word meanings could themselves be weak. This approach lifts the burden of explanation from 'smart' word learning constraints in learners, and suggests a programme of research into weak, unreliable, probabilistic constraints on the inference of word meaning in real word learners. PMID:26927884
Conner, Peggy S.
A high percentage of individuals with dyslexia struggle to learn unfamiliar spoken words, creating a significant obstacle to foreign language learning after early childhood. The origin of spoken-word learning difficulties in this population, generally thought to be related to the underlying literacy deficit, is not well defined (e.g., Di Betta…
Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry
The present study explored whether the phonological bias favoring consonants found in French-learning infants and children when learning new words (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005) is language-general, as proposed by Nespor, Peña and Mehler (2003), or varies across languages, perhaps as a function...... of the phonological or lexical properties of the language in acquisition. To do so, we used the interactive word-learning task set up by Havy and Nazzi (2009), teaching Danish-learning 20-month-olds pairs of phonetically similar words that contrasted either on one of their consonants or one of their...... one or two phonological features were changed. The implication of these findings is that the phonological biases found in early lexical processing are not language-general but develop during language acquisition, depending on the phonological or lexical properties of the native language....
Suanda, Sumarga H; Mugwanya, Nassali; Namy, Laura L
Recent empirical work has highlighted the potential role of cross-situational statistical word learning in children's early vocabulary development. In the current study, we tested 5- to 7-year-old children's cross-situational learning by presenting children with a series of ambiguous naming events containing multiple words and multiple referents. Children rapidly learned word-to-object mappings by attending to the co-occurrence regularities across these ambiguous naming events. The current study begins to address the mechanisms underlying children's learning by demonstrating that the diversity of learning contexts affects performance. The implications of the current findings for the role of cross-situational word learning at different points in development are discussed along with the methodological implications of employing school-aged children to test hypotheses regarding the mechanisms supporting early word learning. PMID:25015421
Blythe, Richard A; Smith, Kenny
Language learners learn the meanings of many thousands of words, despite encountering them in complex environments where infinitely many meanings might be inferred by the learner as their true meaning. This problem of infinite referential uncertainty is often attributed to Willard Van Orman Quine. We provide a mathematical formalisation of an ideal cross-situational learner attempting to learn under infinite referential uncertainty, and identify conditions under which this can happen. As Quine's intuitions suggest, learning under infinite uncertainty is possible, provided that learners have some means of ranking candidate word meanings in terms of their plausibility; furthermore, our analysis shows that this ranking could in fact be exceedingly weak, implying that constraints allowing learners to infer the plausibility of candidate word meanings could also be weak.
Macroy-Higgins, Michelle; Montemarano, Elizabeth A
The purpose of this study was to examine attention allocation in toddlers who were late talkers and toddlers with typical language development while they were engaged in a word-learning task in order to determine if differences exist. Two-year-olds who were late talkers (11) and typically developing toddlers (11) were taught twelve novel pseudo-words for unfamiliar objects over ten training sessions. The toddlers' attention allocation during the word-learning sessions was measured as well as their comprehension of the newly learned words. Late talkers showed reduced attention allocation to objects during word-training sessions, and also comprehended fewer of the novel words than toddlers with typical language development. Attention allocation was found to be a stronger predictor of word learning as compared to cognition and auditory comprehension. Reduced attention allocation may contribute to the early lexical delay characteristic in late talkers. PMID:27464621
This study explores the relevance of multimedia application in relation to vocabulary acquisition in the classroom of Chinese as a foreign language. The herein depicted application refers to the computer-assisted implicit word-learning, wherein the Danish students built hypertexts to acquire...
Estes, Katharine Graf; Bowen, Sara
This research investigates how early learning about native language sound structure affects how infants associate sounds with meanings during word learning. Infants (19-month-olds) were presented with bisyllabic labels with high or low phonotactic probability (i.e., sequences of frequent or infrequent phonemes in English). The labels were produced…
Yogatama, Dani; Faruqui, Manaal; Dyer, Chris; Smith, Noah A.
We propose a new method for learning word representations using hierarchical regularization in sparse coding inspired by the linguistic study of word meanings. We show an efficient learning algorithm based on stochastic proximal methods that is significantly faster than previous approaches, making it possible to perform hierarchical sparse coding on a corpus of billions of word tokens. Experiments on various benchmark tasks---word similarity ranking, analogies, sentence completion, and sentim...
Balass, Michal; Nelson, Jessica R.; Perfetti, Charles A.
Adults of varying reading comprehension skill learned a set of previously unknown rare English words (e.g., "gloaming") in three different learning conditions in which the type of word knowledge was manipulated. The words were presented in one of three conditions: (1) orthography-to-meaning (no phonology); (2) orthography-to-phonology (no…
Kim, Namhee; Davis, Barbara L
The goal of this study was to evaluate movement-based principles for understanding early speech output patterns. Consonant repetition patterns within children's actual productions of word forms were analyzed using spontaneous speech data from 10 typically developing American-English learning children between 12 and 36 months of age. Place of articulation, word level patterns, and developmental trends in CVC and CVCV repeated word forms were evaluated. Labial and coronal place repetitions dominated. Regressive repetition (e.g., [gag] for "dog") occurred frequently in CVC but not in CVCV word forms. Consonant repetition decreased over time. However, the children produced sound types available reported as being within young children's production system capabilities in consonant repetitions in all time periods. Findings suggest that a movement-based approach can provide a framework for comprehensively characterizing consonant place repetition patterns in early speech development. PMID:26176184
Axelsson, Emma L; Horst, Jessica S
Although vocabulary acquisition requires children learn names for multiple things, many investigations of word learning mechanisms teach children the name for only one of the objects presented. This is problematic because it is unclear whether children's performance reflects recall of the correct name-object association or simply selection of the only object that was singled out by being the only object named. Children introduced to one novel name may perform at ceiling as they are not required to discriminate on the basis of the name per se, and appear to rapidly learn words following minimal exposure to a single word. We introduced children to four novel objects. For half the children, only one of the objects was named and for the other children, all four objects were named. Only children introduced to one word reliably selected the target object at test. This demonstration highlights the over-simplicity of one-word learning paradigms and the need for a shift in word learning paradigms where more than one word is taught to ensure children disambiguate objects on the basis of their names rather than their degree of salience. PMID:23928497
The word2vec model and application by Mikolov et al. have attracted a great amount of attention in recent two years. The vector representations of words learned by word2vec models have been shown to carry semantic meanings and are useful in various NLP tasks. As an increasing number of researchers would like to experiment with word2vec or similar techniques, I notice that there lacks a material that comprehensively explains the parameter learning process of word embedding models in details, t...
Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole; van der Feest, Suzanne V. H.; Fikkert, Paula
Toddlers' discrimination of native phonemic contrasts is generally unproblematic. Yet using those native contrasts in word learning and word recognition can be more challenging. In this article, we investigate perceptual versus phonological explanations for asymmetrical patterns found in early word recognition. We systematically investigated…
Estes, Katharine Graf; Edwards, Jan; Saffran, Jenny R.
How do infants use their knowledge of native language sound patterns when learning words? There is ample evidence of infants' precocious acquisition of native language sound structure during the first year of life, but much less evidence concerning how they apply this knowledge to the task of associating sounds with meanings in word learning. To…
Degani, Tamar; Tokowicz, Natasha
Relatively little is known about the role of ambiguity in adult second-language learning. In this study, native English speakers learned Dutch-English translation pairs that either mapped in a one-to-one fashion (unambiguous items) in that a Dutch word uniquely corresponded to one English word, or mapped in a one-to-many fashion (ambiguous items),…
Xu, Fei; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.
We report a new study testing our proposal that word learning may be best explained as an approximate form of Bayesian inference (Xu & Tenenbaum, in press). Children are capable of learning word meanings across a wide range of communicative contexts. In different contexts, learners may encounter different sampling processes generating the examples…
Riley, Kristine Grohne; McGregor, Karla K.
Purpose: To determine the effects of noise and speech style on word learning in typically developing school-age children. Method: Thirty-one participants ages 9;0 (years;months) to 10;11 attempted to learn 2 sets of 8 novel words and their referents. They heard all of the words 13 times each within meaningful narrative discourse. Signal-to-noise…
Janet F Werker; Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Fennell, Christopher T.
At the macrostructure level of language milestones, language acquisition follows a nearly identical course whether children grow up with one or with two languages. However, at the microstructure level, experimental research is revealing that the same proclivities and learning mechanisms that support language acquisition unfold somewhat differently in bilingual versus monolingual environments. This paper synthesizes recent findings in the area of early bilingualism by focusing on the question ...
Junge, Caroline; Cutler, Anne
Recent behavioral and electrophysiological evidence has highlighted the long-term importance for language skills of an early ability to recognize words in continuous speech. We here present further tests of this long-term link in the form of follow-up studies conducted with two (separate) groups of
Pajak, Bozena; Creel, Sarah C; Levy, Roger
How are languages learned, and to what extent are learning mechanisms similar in infant native-language (L1) and adult second-language (L2) acquisition? In terms of vocabulary acquisition, we know from the infant literature that the ability to discriminate similar-sounding words at a particular age does not guarantee successful word-meaning mapping at that age (Stager & Werker, 1997). However, it is unclear whether this difficulty arises from developmental limitations of young infants (e.g., poorer working memory) or whether it is an intrinsic part of the initial word learning, L1 and L2 alike. In this study, we show that adults of particular L1 backgrounds-just like young infants-have difficulty learning similar-sounding L2 words that they can nevertheless discriminate perceptually. This suggests that the early stages of word learning, whether L1 or L2, intrinsically involve difficulty in mapping similar-sounding words onto referents. We argue that this is due to an interaction between 2 main factors: (a) memory limitations that pose particular challenges for highly similar-sounding words, and (b) uncertainty regarding the language's phonetic categories, because the categories are being learned concurrently with words. Overall, our results show that vocabulary acquisition in infancy and adulthood shares more similarities than previously thought, thus supporting the existence of common learning mechanisms that operate throughout the life span. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26962959
Vuurens, Jeroen B. P.; Eickhoff, Carsten; de Vries, Arjen P.
Since its introduction, Word2Vec and its variants are widely used to learn semantics-preserving representations of words or entities in an embedding space, which can be used to produce state-of-art results for various Natural Language Processing tasks. Existing implementations aim to learn efficiently by running multiple threads in parallel while operating on a single model in shared memory, ignoring incidental memory update collisions. We show that these collisions can degrade the efficiency...
The purpose of the paper is to provide a framework for integrating computer-adaptive tool in Word Picture Game (WPG), a program designed for studying Chinese words at elementary level. The paper aims at such areas as technology, theories and practice. All of the areas are being discussed within the...... category of L2 lexical learning in computer-adaptive learning environment. The reason to adopt computer-adaptive tool in WPG is based on the following premises: 1. Lexical learning is incremental in nature. 2. Learning can be measured precisely with tests (objectivist epistemology). In the course of WPG...
Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Marian, Viorica; Yoo, Jeewon
In prior work, women were found to outperform men on short-term verbal memory tasks. The goal of the present work was to examine whether gender differences on short-term memory tasks are tied to the involvement of long-term memory in the learning process. In Experiment 1, men and women were compared on their ability to remember phonologically-familiar novel words and phonologically-unfamiliar novel words. Learning of phonologically-familiar novel words (but not of phonologically-unfamiliar no...
Full Text Available Recent behavioral and electrophysiological evidence has highlighted the long-term importance for language skills of an early ability to recognize words in continuous speech. We here present further tests of this long-term link in the form of follow-up studies conducted with two (separate groups of infants who had earlier participated in speech segmentation tasks. Each study extends prior follow-up tests: Study 1 by using a novel follow-up measure that taps into online processing, Study 2 by assessing language performance relationships over a longer time span than previously tested. Results of Study 1 show that brain correlates of speech segmentation ability at 10 months are positively related to 16-month-olds’ target fixations in a looking-while-listening task. Results of Study 2 show that infant speech segmentation ability no longer directly predicts language profiles at the age of five. However, a meta-analysis across our results and those of similar studies (Study 3 reveals that age at follow-up does not moderate effect size. Together, the results suggest that infants’ ability to recognize words in speech certainly benefits early vocabulary development; further observed relationships of later language skills to early word recognition may be consequent upon this vocabulary size effect.
Vouloumanos, Athena; Werker, Janet F.
In everyday word learning words are only sometimes heard in the presence of their referent, making the acquisition of novel words a particularly challenging task. The current study investigated whether children (18-month-olds who are novice word learners) can track the statistics of co-occurrence between words and objects to learn novel mappings…
D.G. Hall; M. Rhemtulla
Recent research has established that contrast can exert a powerful effect on early word learning. This study examined the role of contrast in young children's ability to learn proper names. Preschoolers heard a novel word for an unfamiliar stuffed animal in the presence of a second stuffed animal of
Hall, D. Geoffrey; Rhemtulla, Mijke
Recent research has established that contrast can exert a powerful effect on early word learning. This study examined the role of contrast in young children's ability to learn proper names. Preschoolers heard a novel word for an unfamiliar stuffed animal in the presence of a second stuffed animal of either the same or a different kind.…
Lauly, Stanislas; Boulanger, Alex; Larochelle, Hugo
Recent work on learning multilingual word representations usually relies on the use of word-level alignements (e.g. infered with the help of GIZA++) between translated sentences, in order to align the word embeddings in different languages. In this workshop paper, we investigate an autoencoder model for learning multilingual word representations that does without such word-level alignements. The autoencoder is trained to reconstruct the bag-of-word representation of given sentence from an enc...
Ludington, Jason Darryl
Learning spoken word forms is a vital part of second language learning, and CALL lends itself well to this training. Not enough is known, however, about how auditory variation across speech tokens may affect receptive word learning. To find out, 144 Thai university students with no knowledge of the Patani Malay language learned 24 foreign words in…
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Full Text Available This study explores the relationship between word learning and conceptual organization for preschool-aged children. We proposed a bidirectional model in which increases in word learning lead to increases in taxonomic organization, which, in turn, leads to further increases in word learning. In order to examine this model, we recruited 104 4-year olds from Head Start classrooms; 52 children participated in a two-week training program, and 52 children were in a control group. Results indicated that children in the training program learned more words and were more likely to sort taxonomically than children in the control condition. Furthermore, the number of words learned over the training period predicted the extent to which children categorized taxonomically. Additionally, this ability to categorize taxonomically predicted the number of words learned outside the training program, over and above the number of words learned in the program. These results suggest a bi-directional relationship between conceptual organization and word learning.
Havy, Mélanie; Bouchon, Camillia; Nazzi, Thierry
Infants have remarkable abilities to learn several languages. However, phonological acquisition in bilingual infants appears to vary depending on the phonetic similarities or differences of their two native languages. Many studies suggest that learning contrasts with different realizations in the two languages (e.g., the /p/, /t/, /k/ stops have…
This dissertation presents several new methods of supervised and unsupervised learning of word sense disambiguation models. The supervised methods focus on performing model searches through a space of probabilistic models, and the unsupervised methods rely on the use of Gibbs Sampling and the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm. In both the supervised and unsupervised case, the Naive Bayesian model is found to perform well. An explanation for this success is presented in terms of learning rates and bias-variance decompositions.
Lockwood, Gwilym; Dingemanse, Mark; Hagoort, Peter
The existence of sound-symbolism (or a non-arbitrary link between form and meaning) is well-attested. However, sound-symbolism has mostly been investigated with nonwords in forced choice tasks, neither of which are representative of natural language. This study uses ideophones, which are naturally occurring sound-symbolic words that depict sensory information, to investigate how sensitive Dutch speakers are to sound-symbolism in Japanese in a learning task. Participants were taught 2 sets of Japanese ideophones; 1 set with the ideophones' real meanings in Dutch, the other set with their opposite meanings. In Experiment 1, participants learned the ideophones and their real meanings much better than the ideophones with their opposite meanings. Moreover, despite the learning rounds, participants were still able to guess the real meanings of the ideophones in a 2-alternative forced-choice test after they were informed of the manipulation. This shows that natural language sound-symbolism is robust beyond 2-alternative forced-choice paradigms and affects broader language processes such as word learning. In Experiment 2, participants learned regular Japanese adjectives with the same manipulation, and there was no difference between real and opposite conditions. This shows that natural language sound-symbolism is especially strong in ideophones, and that people learn words better when form and meaning match. The highlights of this study are as follows: (a) Dutch speakers learn real meanings of Japanese ideophones better than opposite meanings, (b) Dutch speakers accurately guess meanings of Japanese ideophones, (c) this sensitivity happens despite learning some opposite pairings, (d) no such learning effect exists for regular Japanese adjectives, and (e) this shows the importance of sound-symbolism in scaffolding language learning. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26844577
Rosa Kit Wan Kwok
Full Text Available We investigated word learning in university and college students with a diagnosis of dyslexia and in typically-reading controls. Participants read aloud short (4-letter and longer (7-letter nonwords as quickly as possible. The nonwords were repeated across 10 blocks, using a different random order in each block. Participants returned 7 days later and repeated the experiment. Accuracy was high in both groups. The dyslexics were substantially slower than the controls at reading the nonwords throughout the experiment. They also showed a larger length effect, indicating less effective decoding skills. Learning was demonstrated by faster reading of the nonwords across repeated presentations and by a reduction in the difference in reading speeds between shorter and longer nonwords. The dyslexics required more presentations of the nonwords before the length effect became non-significant, only showing convergence in reaction times between shorter and longer items in the second testing session where controls achieved convergence part-way through the first session. Participants also completed a psychological test battery assessing reading and spelling, vocabulary, phonological awareness, working memory, nonverbal ability and motor speed. The dyslexics performed at a similar level to the controls on nonverbal ability but significantly less well on all the other measures. Regression analyses found that decoding ability, measured as the speed of reading aloud nonwords when they were presented for the first time, was predicted by a composite of word reading and spelling scores (‘literacy’. Word learning was assessed in terms of the improvement in naming speeds over 10 blocks of training. Learning was predicted by vocabulary and working memory scores, but not by literacy, phonological awareness, nonverbal ability or motor speed. The results show that young dyslexic adults have problems both in pronouncing novel words and in learning new written words.
Previous literature shows that both explicit and incidental exposure to novel words can boost vocabulary. By comparing stories and definitions as ways of presenting novel words to children, the present study was able to assess the effectiveness of context on word-learning. It was predicted that learning would be greater when words are presented explicitly (in a definition) than incidentally (in a story). A comparison was also drawn between vocal and ‘passive’ interactions during word-teach...
Joseph, Laurice M.
Describes Marie Clay's word boxes that help children attend to phonological and orthographic features of words, developing phonemic awareness and improving word recognition and spelling. Describes a study showing that the use of word boxes with several elementary school students with learning disabilities was effective for improving and…
Peñaloza, Claudia; Mirman, Daniel; Tuomiranta, Leena; Benetello, Annalisa; Heikius, Ida-Maria; Järvinen, Sonja; Majos, Maria C; Cardona, Pedro; Juncadella, Montserrat; Laine, Matti; Martin, Nadine; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni
Recent research suggests that some people with aphasia preserve some ability to learn novel words and to retain them in the long-term. However, this novel word learning ability has been studied only in the context of single word-picture pairings. We examined the ability of people with chronic aphasia to learn novel words using a paradigm that presents new word forms together with a limited set of different possible visual referents and requires the identification of the correct word-object associations on the basis of online feedback. We also studied the relationship between word learning ability and aphasia severity, word processing abilities, and verbal short-term memory (STM). We further examined the influence of gross lesion location on new word learning. The word learning task was first validated with a group of forty-five young adults. Fourteen participants with chronic aphasia were administered the task and underwent tests of immediate and long-term recognition memory at 1 week. Their performance was compared to that of a group of fourteen matched controls using growth curve analysis. The learning curve and recognition performance of the aphasia group was significantly below the matched control group, although above-chance recognition performance and case-by-case analyses indicated that some participants with aphasia had learned the correct word-referent mappings. Verbal STM but not word processing abilities predicted word learning ability after controlling for aphasia severity. Importantly, participants with lesions in the left frontal cortex performed significantly worse than participants with lesions that spared the left frontal region both during word learning and on the recognition tests. Our findings indicate that some people with aphasia can preserve the ability to learn a small novel lexicon in an ambiguous word-referent context. This learning and recognition memory ability was associated with verbal STM capacity, aphasia severity and the integrity
Full Text Available A model of syntactic development proposes that children’s very first word-combinations are already generated via productive rules that express in syntactic form the relation between a predicate word and its semantic argument. An alternative hypothesis is that they learn frozen chunks. In Study 1 we analyzed a large sample of young children’s early two-word sentences comprising of verbs with direct objects. A majority of objects were generated by pronouns but a third of children’s sentences used bare common nouns as objects. We checked parents’ twoword long sentences of verbs with objects and found almost no bare common nouns. Children cannot have copied sentences with bare noun objects from parents’ two-word long sentences as frozen chunks. In Study 2 we raised the possibility that children’s early sentences with bare nouns are rote-learned ‘telegraphic speech’, acquired as unanalyzed frozen chunks from longer input sentences due to perceptual problem to hear the unstressed determiners. To test this explanation, we tested the children’s speech corpus for evidence that they avoid determiners in their word-combinations. The results showed that they do not; in fact they generate very many determiner-common noun combinations as two-word utterances. The findings suggest that children produce their early word-combinations of the core-grammar type by a productive rule that maps the predicate-argument relations of verbs and their semantic arguments to headdependent syntax, and not as frozen word-combinations. Children mostly learn to use indexical expressions such as pronouns to express the variable semantic arguments of verbs as context dependent; they also employ bare common nouns to express specific values of the arguments. The earliest word-combinations demonstrate that children understand that syntax is built on the predicate-argument relations of words and use this insight to produce their early sentences.
The ease with which we process the written word belies its complexities and makes it easy to forget that it is a highly skilled behaviour and one that takes time to master. In this paper, I argue that our ability to read words has its roots in our capacity for language. Good progress has been made towards understanding how children discover the systematic relationship between speech sounds and the letters used to represents those sounds, very early in reading development. However, we understand much less about how beginning readers become skilled readers. To understand this, I argue that it is important to view the visual word recognition system within the context of a broader language system, one that incorporates a rich network of semantic and episodic knowledge. PMID:18609391
Sera, Maria D.; Cole, Caitlin A.; Oromendia, Mercedes; Koenig, Melissa A.
Studying how children learn words in a foreign language can shed light on how language learning changes with development. In one experiment, we examined whether three-, four-, and five-year-olds could learn and remember words for familiar and unfamiliar objects in their native English and a foreign language. All age groups could learn and remember…
Masrai, Ahmed; Milton, James
This study investigates word difficulty and learning among learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in Saudi Arabia. Difficulty factors examined in the study include repetition of words in learners' EFL textbooks, word length and parts of speech, and adds a further consideration which is underexplored in the literature; word translation…
This bachelor thesis deals with the problem of teaching computer science and various approaches to the teaching of the application environment. The work provides a comparison of available textbooks on the issue. Furthermore, in the theoretical part of the bachelor work is design a modern approach to teaching of the application environment. As a practical output of this work is, as its name suggests, the blended learning course to teach word processing, which is designed as a modern approach p...
Hamada, Megumi; Koda, Keiko
This study explored similarity and difference in L2 written word-form learning from a cross-linguistic perspective. This study investigated whether learners' L1 orthographic background, which influences L2 visual word recognition (e.g., Wang et al., 2003), also influences L2 word-form learning, in particular, the sensitivity to phonological and…
Hamada, Megumi; Goya, Hideki
This study investigated the role of syllable structure in L2 auditory word learning. Based on research on cross-linguistic variation of speech perception and lexical memory, it was hypothesized that Japanese L1 learners of English would learn English words with an open-syllable structure without consonant clusters better than words with a…
López-Barroso, Diana; Catani, Marco; Ripollés, Pablo; Dell'Acqua, Flavio; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth
Human language requires constant learning of new words, leading to the acquisition of an average vocabulary of more than 30,000 words in adult life. The ability to learn new words is highly variable and may rely on the integration between auditory and motor information. Here, we combined diffusion imaging tractography and functional MRI to study whether the strength of anatomical and functional connectivity between auditory and motor language networks is associated with word learning ability. Our results showed that performance in word learning correlates with microstructural properties and strength of functional connectivity of the direct connections between Broca's and Wernicke's territories in the left hemisphere. This study suggests that our ability to learn new words relies on an efficient and fast communication between temporal and frontal areas. The absence of these connections in other animals may explain the unique ability of learning words in humans. PMID:23884655
Räsänen, Okko; Rasilo, Heikki
Human infants learn meanings for spoken words in complex interactions with other people, but the exact learning mechanisms are unknown. Among researchers, a widely studied learning mechanism is called cross-situational learning (XSL). In XSL, word meanings are learned when learners accumulate statistical information between spoken words and co-occurring objects or events, allowing the learner to overcome referential uncertainty after having sufficient experience with individually ambiguous scenarios. Existing models in this area have mainly assumed that the learner is capable of segmenting words from speech before grounding them to their referential meaning, while segmentation itself has been treated relatively independently of the meaning acquisition. In this article, we argue that XSL is not just a mechanism for word-to-meaning mapping, but that it provides strong cues for proto-lexical word segmentation. If a learner directly solves the correspondence problem between continuous speech input and the contextual referents being talked about, segmentation of the input into word-like units emerges as a by-product of the learning. We present a theoretical model for joint acquisition of proto-lexical segments and their meanings without assuming a priori knowledge of the language. We also investigate the behavior of the model using a computational implementation, making use of transition probability-based statistical learning. Results from simulations show that the model is not only capable of replicating behavioral data on word learning in artificial languages, but also shows effective learning of word segments and their meanings from continuous speech. Moreover, when augmented with a simple familiarity preference during learning, the model shows a good fit to human behavioral data in XSL tasks. These results support the idea of simultaneous segmentation and meaning acquisition and show that comprehensive models of early word segmentation should take referential word
Gao, Bin; Bian, Jiang; Liu, Tie-Yan
WordRep is a benchmark collection for the research on learning distributed word representations (or word embeddings), released by Microsoft Research. In this paper, we describe the details of the WordRep collection and show how to use it in different types of machine learning research related to word embedding. Specifically, we describe how the evaluation tasks in WordRep are selected, how the data are sampled, and how the evaluation tool is built. We then compare several state-of-the-art wor...
Sophie E. Williams
Full Text Available Reading the same storybooks repeatedly helps preschool children learn words. In addition, sleeping shortly after learning also facilitates memory consolidation and aids learning in older children and adults. The current study explored how sleep promotes word learning in preschool children using a shared storybook reading task. Children were either read the same story repeatedly or different stories and either napped after the stories or remained awake. Children’s word retention were tested 2.5 hours later, 24 hours later and 7 days later. Results demonstrate strong, persistent effects for both repeated readings and sleep consolidation on young children’s word learning. A key finding is that children who read different stories before napping learned words as well as children who had the advantage of hearing the same story. In contrast, children who read different stories and remained awake never caught up to their peers on later word learning tests. Implications for educational practices are discussed.
Dittinger, Eva; Barbaroux, Mylène; D'Imperio, Mariapaola; Jäncke, Lutz; Elmer, Stefan; Besson, Mireille
On the basis of previous results showing that music training positively influences different aspects of speech perception and cognition, the aim of this series of experiments was to test the hypothesis that adult professional musicians would learn the meaning of novel words through picture-word associations more efficiently than controls without music training (i.e., fewer errors and faster RTs). We also expected musicians to show faster changes in brain electrical activity than controls, in particular regarding the N400 component that develops with word learning. In line with these hypotheses, musicians outperformed controls in the most difficult semantic task. Moreover, although a frontally distributed N400 component developed in both groups of participants after only a few minutes of novel word learning, in musicians this frontal distribution rapidly shifted to parietal scalp sites, as typically found for the N400 elicited by known words. Finally, musicians showed evidence for better long-term memory for novel words 5 months after the main experimental session. Results are discussed in terms of cascading effects from enhanced perception to memory as well as in terms of multifaceted improvements of cognitive processing due to music training. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that music training influences semantic aspects of language processing in adults. These results open new perspectives for education in showing that early music training can facilitate later foreign language learning. Moreover, the design used in the present experiment can help to specify the stages of word learning that are impaired in children and adults with word learning difficulties. PMID:27315272
Liu, Quan; Ling, Zhen-Hua; Jiang, Hui; Hu, Yu
This paper proposes a model to learn word embeddings with weighted contexts based on part-of-speech (POS) relevance weights. POS is a fundamental element in natural language. However, state-of-the-art word embedding models fail to consider it. This paper proposes to use position-dependent POS relevance weighting matrices to model the inherent syntactic relationship among words within a context window. We utilize the POS relevance weights to model each word-context pairs during the word embedd...
Babineau, Mireille; Shi, Rushen
In previous infant studies on statistics-based word segmentation, the unit of statistical computation was always aligned with the syllabic edge, which had a consonant onset. The current study addressed whether the learning system imposes a constraint that favors word forms beginning with a consonant onset over those beginning with an onsetless…
Carpe Pérez, Inmaculada Concepción; Pedersen, Hanne
? Visual narrative is a "language" as valid as writing or speaking. Sometimes, a more valuable tool when there's an impediment to use verbal communication. Animation is a feeling and visual thinking media which allows us to "translate" words into images, sentences into stories and scripts into movies....... The persisting vision). We are aware of the resistance that alternative learning tools suffer from the most traditional school systems, as Sir Ken Robinson claims; we need to change the old teachings paradigms. At the Animated Learning Lab, together, with some of the newest results from other schools...... and institutions, are already promoting and practicing animation as a learning tool. We want to expose and share its effectiveness, which helps to shape creative, emotional and thoughtful minds. Some of the newest studies in the European Community, such as, EMEDEUS, European Media Literacy Education, Pilot study...
Ji, Shihao; Yun, Hyokun; Yanardag, Pinar; Matsushima, Shin; Vishwanathan, S. V. N.
Embedding words in a vector space has gained a lot of attention in recent years. While state-of-the-art methods provide efficient computation of word similarities via a low-dimensional matrix embedding, their motivation is often left unclear. In this paper, we argue that word embedding can be naturally viewed as a ranking problem due to the ranking nature of the evaluation metrics. Then, based on this insight, we propose a novel framework WordRank that efficiently estimates word representatio...
Mirman, Daniel; Magnuson, James S.; Estes, Katharine Graf; Dixon, James A.
Many studies have shown that listeners can segment words from running speech based on conditional probabilities of syllable transitions, suggesting that this statistical learning could be a foundational component of language learning. However, few studies have shown a direct link between statistical segmentation and word learning. We examined this…
Blewitt, Pamela; Langan, Ryan
Shared book reading (SBR) is a valuable context for word learning during early childhood, and adults' extratextual talk boosts the vocabulary building potential of SBR. We propose that the benefits of such talk depend largely on a reader's success in promoting children's active engagement (attention and interest) during SBR. When readers ask children questions about new words, especially if they respond to children in a prompt, contingent, and appropriate (positive) manner, this verbal responsiveness functions as an effective engagement strategy. We randomly assigned 3- and 4-year-olds to three reading conditions (low, moderate, and high) distinguished by the degree to which the reader used extratextual engagement strategies, including verbal responsiveness. Despite equal exposure to unfamiliar target words, children's performance improved on two measures of word learning across the three conditions, demonstrating the value of engagement strategies in extratextual talk. This study provides a strong experimental demonstration that adult verbal responsiveness directly benefits preschoolers' word learning. PMID:27378488
Pruden, Shannon M.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hennon, Elizabeth A.
A core task in language acquisition is mapping words onto objects, actions, and events. Two studies investigated how children learn to map novel labels onto novel objects. Study 1 investigated whether 10-month-olds use both perceptual and social cues to learn a word. Study 2, a control study, tested whether infants paired the label with a…
Snoeren, Natalie D.; Gaskell, M. Gareth; Di Betta, Anna Maria
The present study investigated the mechanisms underlying perceptual compensation for assimilation in novel words. During training, participants learned canonical versions of novel spoken words (e.g., "decibot") presented in isolation. Following exposure to a second set of novel words the next day, participants carried out a phoneme monitoring…
Saylor, Megan M.; Carroll, C. Brooke
The present study investigated three-year-olds' sensitivity to direct and indirect cues to others' knowledge states for word learning purposes. Children were given either direct, physical cues to knowledge or indirect, verbal cues to knowledge. Preschoolers revealed a better ability to learn words from a speaker following direct, physical cues to…
Steele, Sara C.
This study examined and compared patterns of errors in the oral definitions of newly learned words. Fifteen 9- to 11-year-old children with language learning disability (LLD) and 15 typically developing age-matched peers inferred the meanings of 20 nonsense words from four novel reading passages. After reading, children provided oral definitions…
O'Doherty, Katherine; Troseth, Georgene L.; Shimpi, Priya M.; Goldenberg, Elizabeth; Akhtar, Nameera; Saylor, Megan M.
In previous studies, very young children have learned words while "overhearing" a conversation, yet they have had trouble learning words from a person on video. In Study 1, 64 toddlers (mean age = 29.8 months) viewed an object-labeling demonstration in 1 of 4 conditions. In 2, the speaker (present or on video) directly addressed the child, and in…
Nazzi, Thierry; Mersad, Karima; Sundara, Megha; Iakimova, Galina; Polka, Linda
Six experiments explored Parisian French-learning infants' ability to segment bisyllabic words from fluent speech. The first goal was to assess whether bisyllabic word segmentation emerges later in infants acquiring European French compared to other languages. The second goal was to determine whether infants learning different dialects of the same language have partly different segmentation abilities, and whether segmenting a non-native dialect has a cost. Infants were tested on standard European or Canadian French stimuli, in the word-passage or passage-word order. Our study first establishes an early onset of segmentation abilities: Parisian infants segment bisyllabic words at age 0;8 in the passage-word order only (revealing a robust order of presentation effect). Second, it shows that there are differences in segmentation abilities across Parisian and Canadian French infants, and that there is a cost for cross-dialect segmentation for Parisian infants. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding word segmentation processes. PMID:23659594
P, Sarath Chandar A; Lauly, Stanislas; Larochelle, Hugo; Khapra, Mitesh M.; Ravindran, Balaraman; Raykar, Vikas; Saha, Amrita
Cross-language learning allows us to use training data from one language to build models for a different language. Many approaches to bilingual learning require that we have word-level alignment of sentences from parallel corpora. In this work we explore the use of autoencoder-based methods for cross-language learning of vectorial word representations that are aligned between two languages, while not relying on word-level alignments. We show that by simply learning to reconstruct the bag-of-w...
Axelsson, Emma L; Horst, Jessica S
The current study explores whether contextual repetition during fast mapping facilitates word learning. Three-year-old children completed fast mapping and test trials using a touchscreen computer. For half of the children, the non-targets (competitors) repeated across learning trials and for other children there was no repetition. All children received the same test trials. Children who experienced contextual repetition, that is, children for whom the competitors repeated during the initial fast mapping task, demonstrated word learning. These data demonstrate that children's word learning is facilitated by the presence of extraneous yet predictable information in the initial fast mapping task. PMID:25195163
Piantadosi, Steven T; Jara-Ettinger, Julian; Gibson, Edward
We show that children in the Tsimane', a farming-foraging group in the Bolivian rain-forest, learn number words along a similar developmental trajectory to children from industrialized countries. Tsimane' children successively acquire the first three or four number words before fully learning how counting works. However, their learning is substantially delayed relative to children from the United States, Russia, and Japan. The presence of a similar developmental trajectory likely indicates that the incremental stages of numerical knowledge - but not their timing - reflect a fundamental property of number concept acquisition which is relatively independent of language, culture, age, and early education. PMID:24766463
George eKachergis; Chen eYu; Shiffrin, Richard M.
For decades, implicit learning researchers have examined a variety of cognitive tasks in which people seem to automatically extract structure from the environment. Similarly, recent statistical learning studies have shown that people can learn word-object mappings from the repeated co-occurrence of words and objects in individually ambiguous situations. In light of this, the goal of the present paper is to investigate whether adult cross-situational learners require an explicit effort to lear...
Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Amso, Dima; Abar, Beau; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.
Previous work has demonstrated that patterns of social attention hold predictive value for language development in typically developing infants. The goal of this research was to explore how patterns of attention in autistic, language delayed, and typically developing children relate to early word learning and language abilities. We tracked patterns of eye movements to faces and objects while children watched videos of a woman teaching them a series of new words. Subsequent test trials measure...
Lotto, Lorella; de Groot, M. B.
Examined the roles of learning method, word frequency, and cognate status in the learning of 80 Italian words by 56 adult Dutch learners previously unfamiliar with Italian. Two learning methods were contrasted: word learning, where the Italian word was presented with its translation in Dutch, and picture learning, where it was presented with a…
Zimmerman, Belinda S.
Envisioning oneself as a competent reader is an important first step to reading well. This article describes an intervention that employs drawings coupled with teacher-student dialogue, which sets the stage for strategy learning as a key to word-solving. A process for the interventionist, Title I or any teacher working with students who find…
Højen, Anders; Nazzi, Thierry
The present study explored whether the phonological bias favoring consonants found in French-learning infants and children when learning new words (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005) is language-general, as proposed by Nespor, Peña, & Mehler (2003), or varies across languages, perhaps as a function...... of the phonological or lexical properties of the language in acquisition. To do so, we used the interactive word learning task set up by Havy & Nazzi (2009), teaching Danish-learning 20-month-olds pairs of phonetically similar words that contrasted either on one of their consonants or one of their...... one or two phonological features were changed. The implication of these findings is that the phonological biases found in early lexical processing are not language-general but develop during language acquisition, depending on the phonological or lexical properties of the native language....
Strapp, Chehalis M.; Helmick, Augusta L.; Tonkovich, Hayley M.; Bleakney, Dana M.
This study compared negative and positive evidence in adult word learning, predicting that adults would learn more forms following negative evidence. Ninety-two native English speakers (32 men and 60 women [M[subscript age] = 20.38 years, SD = 2.80]), learned nonsense nouns and verbs provided within English frames. Later, participants produced…
Sullivan, Jessica; Barner, David
When children acquire language, they often learn words in the absence of direct instruction (e.g. "This is a ball!") or even social cues to reference (e.g. eye gaze, pointing). However, there are few accounts of how children do this, especially in cases where the referent of a new word is ambiguous. Across two experiments, we test…
Full Text Available Some domestic dogs learn to comprehend human words, although the nature and basis of this learning is unknown. In the studies presented here we investigated whether dogs learn words through an understanding of referential actions by humans rather than simple association. In three studies, each modelled on a study conducted with human infants, we confronted four word-experienced dogs with situations involving no spatial-temporal contiguity between the word and the referent; the only available cues were referential actions displaced in time from exposure to their referents. We found that no dogs were able to reliably link an object with a label based on social-pragmatic cues alone in all the tests. However, one dog did show skills in some tests, possibly indicating an ability to learn based on social-pragmatic cues.
Tempelmann, Sebastian; Kaminski, Juliane; Tomasello, Michael
Some domestic dogs learn to comprehend human words, although the nature and basis of this learning is unknown. In the studies presented here we investigated whether dogs learn words through an understanding of referential actions by humans rather than simple association. In three studies, each modelled on a study conducted with human infants, we confronted four word-experienced dogs with situations involving no spatial-temporal contiguity between the word and the referent; the only available cues were referential actions displaced in time from exposure to their referents. We found that no dogs were able to reliably link an object with a label based on social-pragmatic cues alone in all the tests. However, one dog did show skills in some tests, possibly indicating an ability to learn based on social-pragmatic cues. PMID:24646732
Use this step-by-step learning package to master Word 2010 Word 2010 is one of the core applications of Microsoft Office and if you're eager to get started using all it has to offer, this value-packed eLearning Kit is essential to your learning process. This complete Word 2010 course includes a full-color printed book and a Dummies interactive eLearning course on CD. You'll discover the basics of the Word interface, how to navigate it, how to get comfortable with the terminology, and how to use its many features. Detailed instructions walk you through real-world exercises and help to make lear
Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Fennell, Christopher T.; Werker, Janet F.
Children growing up bilingual face a unique linguistic environment. The current study investigated whether early bilingual experience influences the developmental trajectory of associative word learning, a foundational mechanism for lexical acquisition. Monolingual and bilingual infants (N = 98) were tested on their ability to learn…
Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten
Vocabulary learning in a second language is enhanced if learners enrich the learning experience with self-performed iconic gestures. This learning strategy is called enactment. Here we explore how enacted words are functionally represented in the brain and which brain regions contribute to enhance retention. After an enactment training lasting 4 days, participants performed a word recognition task in the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner. Data analysis suggests the participation of different and partially intertwined networks that are engaged in higher cognitive processes, i.e., enhanced attention and word recognition. Also, an experience-related network seems to map word representation. Besides core language regions, this latter network includes sensory and motor cortices, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. On the basis of its complexity and the involvement of the motor system, this sensorimotor network might explain superior retention for enactment. PMID:27445918
The Primary MFL curriculum (DfE, 2013: 1-3) calls for the development of reading and writing in a foreign language in primary schools. Specific attainment targets refer to “accurate reading aloud..for understanding” and the ability to “describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing” (DfE, 2013: 2). Research, however, has shown both the teaching and learning of MFL literacy to be most problematic. Observation-derived evidence noted that writing was the “least developed skill...
A novel word learning paradigm in a reading context was employed to investigate the ability of adults with and without learning disability to learn new words. The participants were required to read a short English story. The story was based on an Indian folk tale to eliminate any confounding effect of familiarity with content. Two nouns and two…
Pruden, Shannon M.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hennon, Elizabeth A.
A core task in language acquisition is mapping words onto objects, actions, and events. Two studies investigated how children learn to map novel labels onto novel objects. Study 1 investigated whether 10-month-olds use both perceptual and social cues to learn a word. Study 2, a control study, tested whether infants paired the label with a particular spatial location rather than to an object. Results show that 10-month-olds can learn new labels and do so by relying on the perceptual salience o...
Brabham, Edna; Buskist, Connie; Henderson, Shannon Coman; Paleologos, Timon; Baugh, Nikki
Students entering school with limited vocabularies are at a disadvantage compared to classmates with robust knowledge of words and meanings. Teaching a few unrelated words at a time is insufficient for catching these students up with peers and preparing them to comprehend texts they will encounter across the grades. This article presents…
Townsend, Dianna; Kiernan, Darl
The purpose of this teaching tip is to share a new tool for identifying high-utility academic words from instructional texts. The Word and Phrase Tool, when paired with teacher knowledge about students and objectives, can help teachers promote the academic vocabulary development of their students.
Van Aken, Jerry R
In natural speech, the speaker does not pause between words, yet a human listener somehow perceives this continuous stream of phonemes as a series of distinct words. The detection of boundaries between spoken words is an instance of a general capability of the human neocortex to remember and to recognize recurring sequences. This paper describes a computer algorithm that is designed to solve the problem of locating word boundaries in blocks of English text from which the spaces have been removed. This problem avoids the complexities of processing speech but requires similar capabilities for detecting recurring sequences. The algorithm that is described in this paper relies entirely on statistical relationships between letters in the input stream to infer the locations of word boundaries. The source code for a C++ version of this algorithm is presented in an appendix.
Parents and child care personnel in English-dominant parts of the world often express misgivings about raising children bilingually. Their concerns are based on the belief that dual language learning during the infant-toddler stage confuses children, delays their development, and perhaps even results in reduced language competence. In this…
Full Text Available For decades, implicit learning researchers have examined a variety of cognitive tasks in which people seem to automatically extract structure from the environment. Similarly, recent statistical learning studies have shown that people can learn word-object mappings from the repeated co-occurrence of words and objects in individually ambiguous situations. In light of this, the goal of the present paper is to investigate whether adult cross-situational learners require an explicit effort to learn word-object mappings, or if it may take place incidentally, only requiring attention to the stimuli. In two implicit learning experiments with incidental tasks directing participants' attention to different aspects of the stimuli, we found evidence of learning, suggesting that cross-situational learning mechanisms can operate incidentally, without explicit effort. However, performance was superior under explicit study instructions, indicating that strategic processes also play a role. Moreover, performance under instruction to learn word meanings did not differ from performance at counting co-occurrences, which may indicate these tasks engage similar strategies.
Kachergis, George; Yu, Chen; Shiffrin, Richard M
For decades, implicit learning researchers have examined a variety of cognitive tasks in which people seem to automatically extract structure from the environment. Similarly, recent statistical learning studies have shown that people can learn word-object mappings from the repeated co-occurrence of words and objects in individually ambiguous situations. In light of this, the goal of the present paper is to investigate whether adult cross-situational learners require an explicit effort to learn word-object mappings, or if it may take place incidentally, only requiring attention to the stimuli. In two implicit learning experiments with incidental tasks directing participants' attention to different aspects of the stimuli, we found evidence of learning, suggesting that cross-situational learning mechanisms can operate incidentally, without explicit effort. However, performance was superior under explicit study instructions, indicating that strategic processes also play a role. Moreover, performance under instruction to learn word meanings did not differ from performance at counting co-occurrences, which may indicate these tasks engage similar strategies. PMID:24982644
Di Bono, Maria Grazia; Zorzi, Marco
It is widely believed that orthographic processing implies an approximate, flexible coding of letter position, as shown by relative-position and transposition priming effects in visual word recognition. These findings have inspired alternative proposals about the representation of letter position, ranging from noisy coding across the ordinal positions to relative position coding based on open bigrams. This debate can be cast within the broader problem of learning location-invariant representations of written words, that is, a coding scheme abstracting the identity and position of letters (and combinations of letters) from their eye-centered (i.e., retinal) locations. We asked whether location-invariance would emerge from deep unsupervised learning on letter strings and what type of intermediate coding would emerge in the resulting hierarchical generative model. We trained a deep network with three hidden layers on an artificial dataset of letter strings presented at five possible retinal locations. Though word-level information (i.e., word identity) was never provided to the network during training, linear decoding from the activity of the deepest hidden layer yielded near-perfect accuracy in location-invariant word recognition. Conversely, decoding from lower layers yielded a large number of transposition errors. Analyses of emergent internal representations showed that word selectivity and location invariance increased as a function of layer depth. Word-tuning and location-invariance were found at the level of single neurons, but there was no evidence for bigram coding. Finally, the distributed internal representation of words at the deepest layer showed higher similarity to the representation elicited by the two exterior letters than by other combinations of two contiguous letters, in agreement with the hypothesis that word edges have special status. These results reveal that the efficient coding of written words-which was the model's learning objective
Zhou, Lulin; Duff, Fiona J.; Hulme, Charles
We report a training study that assesses whether teaching the pronunciation and meaning of spoken words improves Chinese children's subsequent attempts to learn to read the words. Teaching the pronunciations of words helps children to learn to read those same words, and teaching the pronunciations and meanings improves learning still further.…
Norbury, Courtenay Frazier; Griffiths, Helen; Nation, Kate
Successful word learning depends on the integration of phonological and semantic information with social cues provided by interlocutors. How then, do children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) learn new words when social impairments pervade? We recorded the eye-movements of verbally-able children with ASD and their typical peers while completing a word learning task in a social context. We assessed learning of semantic and phonological features immediately after learning and again four weeks later. Eye-movement data revealed that both groups could follow social cues, but that typically developing children were more sensitive to the social informativeness of gaze cues. In contrast, children with ASD were more successful than peers at mapping phonological forms to novel referents; however, this advantage was not maintained over time. Typical children showed clear consolidation of learning both semantic and phonological information, children with ASD did not. These results provide unique evidence of qualitative differences in word learning and consolidation and elucidate the different mechanisms underlying the unusual nature of autistic language. PMID:20951710
Maria GraziaDi Bono
Full Text Available It is widely believed that orthographic processing implies an approximate, flexible coding of letter position, as shown by relative-position and transposition priming effects in visual word recognition. These findings have inspired alternative proposals about the representation of letter position, ranging from noisy coding across the ordinal positions to relative position coding based on open bigrams. This debate can be cast within the broader problem of learning location-invariant representations of written words, that is, a coding scheme abstracting the identity and position of letters (and combinations of letters from their eye-centred (i.e., retinal locations. We asked whether location-invariance would emerge from deep unsupervised learning on letter strings and what type of intermediate coding would emerge in the resulting hierarchical generative model. We trained a deep network with three hidden layers on an artificial dataset of letter strings presented at five possible retinal locations. Though word-level information (i.e., word identity was never provided to the network during training, linear decoding from the activity of the deepest hidden layer yielded near-perfect accuracy in location-invariant word recognition. Conversely, decoding from lower layers yielded a large number of transposition errors. Analyses of emergent internal representations showed that word selectivity and location invariance increased as a function of layer depth. Conversely, there was no evidence for bigram coding. Finally, the distributed internal representation of words at the deepest layer showed higher similarity to the representation elicited by the two exterior letters than by other combinations of two contiguous letters, in agreement with the hypothesis that word edges have special status. These results reveal that the efficient coding of written words – which was the model’s learning objective – is largely based on letter-level information.
McMurray, Bob; Horst, Jessica S.; Samuelson, Larissa K.
Classic approaches to word learning emphasize the problem of referential ambiguity: in any naming situation the referent of a novel word must be selected from many possible objects, properties, actions, etc. To solve this problem, researchers have posited numerous constraints, and inference strategies, but assume that determining the referent of a novel word is isomorphic to learning. We present an alternative model in which referent selection is an online process that is independent of long-...
Beloglovsky, Miriam; Daly, Lisa
Go beyond reading about early learning theories and see what they look like in action in modern programs and teacher practices. With classroom vignettes and colorful photographs, this book makes the works of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, Lev Vygotsky, Abraham Maslow, John Dewey, Howard Gardner, and Louise Derman-Sparks visible, accessible, and easier…
Full Text Available Title is a compact representation of a document which distill the important information from the document. In this paper we studied the selection words as title words by using different learning approachesnamely nearest neighbor approach (NN, Naive Bayes approach with limited-vocabulary (NBL, Naive Bayes approach with full vocabulary (NBF and by using a term weighing approach (tf-idf. We compare theperformance of these approaches by using F1 metric. We compare the F1 metric results both on English Script and Indic Script ' Telugu'. We concluded the influence of linguistic complexity in the process of Title word selection.
Plesničar, Vesna; Razboršek, Tina; Sullivan, Jessica; Barner, David
How does linguistic structure affect children’s acquisition of early number word meanings? Previous studies have tested this question by comparing how children learning languages with different grammatical representations of number learn the meanings of labels for small numbers, like 1, 2, and 3. For example, children who acquire a language with singular-plural marking, like English, are faster to learn the word for 1 than children learning a language that lacks the singular-plural distinction, perhaps because the word for 1 is always used in singular contexts, highlighting its meaning. These studies are problematic, however, because reported differences in number word learning may be due to unmeasured cross-cultural differences rather than specific linguistic differences. To address this problem, we investigated number word learning in four groups of children from a single culture who spoke different dialects of the same language that differed chiefly with respect to how they grammatically mark number. We found that learning a dialect which features “dual” morphology (marking of pairs) accelerated children’s acquisition of the number word two relative to learning a “non-dual” dialect of the same language. PMID:27486802
O’Doherty, Katherine; Troseth, Georgene L.; Shimpi, Priya M.; Goldenberg, Elizabeth; Akhtar, Nameera; Saylor, Megan M.
In previous studies, very young children have learned words while “overhearing” a conversation, yet they have had trouble learning words from a person on video. In Study 1, 64 toddlers (mean age = 29.8 months) viewed an object-labeling demonstration in one of four conditions. In two, the speaker (present or on video) directly addressed the child and in two, the speaker addressed another adult who was present or was with her on video. Study 2 involved two follow-up conditions with 32 toddlers ...
The environmental context of verbs addressed by adults to young children is claimed to be uninformative regarding the verbs' meaning, yielding the Syntactic Bootstrapping Hypothesis that, for verb learning, full sentences are needed to demonstrate the semantic arguments of verbs. However, reanalysis of Gleitman's (1990) original data regarding input to a blind child revealed the context of single-word parental verbs to be more transparent than that of sentences. We tested the hypothesis that English-speaking children learn their early verbs from parents' single-word utterances. Distribution of single-word transitive verbs produced by a large sample of young children was strongly predicted by the relative token frequency of verbs in parental single-word utterances, but multiword sentences had no predictive value. Analysis of the interactive context showed that objects of verbs are retrievable by pragmatic inference, as is the meaning of the verbs. Single-word input appears optimal for learning an initial vocabulary of verbs. PMID:26329330
Full Text Available Previous work has demonstrated that patterns of social attention hold predictive value for language development in typically developing infants. The goal of this research was to explore how patterns of attention in autistic, language delayed, and typically developing children relate to early word learning and language abilities. We tracked patterns of eye movements to faces and objects while children watched videos of a woman teaching them a series of new words. Subsequent test trials measured participants’ recognition of these novel word-object pairings. Results indicated that greater attention to the speaker’s mouth was related to higher scores on standardized measures of language development for autistic and typically developing children (but not for language delayed children. This effect was mediated by age for typically developing, but not autistic children. When effects of age were controlled for, attention to the mouth among language delayed participants was negatively correlated with standardized measures of language learning. Attention to the speaker’s mouth and eyes while she was teaching the new words was also predictive of faster recognition of the newly learned words among autistic children. These results suggest that language delays among children with autism may be driven in part by aberrant social attention, and that the mechanisms underlying these delays may differ from those in language delayed participants without autism.
The paper reviewed studies in word-level processing skills and related areas, and profiled how the development of L2 word recognition and integration skills would contribute to autonomous "kango" (Chinese originated words or words created from Chinese originated words) vocabulary learning. Despite the fact that the acquisition of a…
Johns, Brendan T; Dye, Melody; Jones, Michael N
In a series of analyses over mega datasets, Jones, Johns, and Recchia (Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(2), 115-124, 2012) and Johns et al. (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132:2, EL74-EL80, 2012) found that a measure of contextual diversity that takes into account the semantic variability of a word's contexts provided a better fit to both visual and spoken word recognition data than traditional measures, such as word frequency or raw context counts. This measure was empirically validated with an artificial language experiment (Jones et al.). The present study extends the empirical results with a unique natural language learning paradigm, which allows for an examination of the semantic representations that are acquired as semantic diversity is varied. Subjects were incidentally exposed to novel words as they rated short selections from articles, books, and newspapers. When novel words were encountered across distinct discourse contexts, subjects were both faster and more accurate at recognizing them than when they were seen in redundant contexts. However, learning across redundant contexts promoted the development of more stable semantic representations. These findings are predicted by a distributional learning model trained on the same materials as our subjects. PMID:26597891
In several of his papers, Charles S. Peirce illustrates processes of interpreting and understanding signs by examples from second language vocabulary teaching and learning. The insights conveyed by means of these little pedagogical scenarios are not meant as contributions to the psychology of second language learning, but they aim at elucidating…
Lew-Williams, Casey; Pelucchi, Bruna; Saffran, Jenny R.
Infants are adept at tracking statistical regularities to identify word boundaries in pause-free speech. However, researchers have questioned the relevance of statistical learning mechanisms to language acquisition, since previous studies have used simplified artificial languages that ignore the variability of real language input. The experiments reported here embraced a key dimension of variability in infant-directed speech. English-learning infants (8–10 months) listened briefly to natural ...
Van den Bosch, A; Daelemans, W; Bosch, Antal van den; Weijters, Ton; Daelemans, Walter
In leading morpho-phonological theories and state-of-the-art text-to-speech systems it is assumed that word pronunciation cannot be learned or performed without in-between analyses at several abstraction levels (e.g., morphological, graphemic, phonemic, syllabic, and stress levels). We challenge this assumption for the case of English word pronunciation. Using IGTree, an inductive-learning decision-tree algorithms, we train and test three word-pronunciation systems in which the number of abstraction levels (implemented as sequenced modules) is reduced from five, via three, to one. The latter system, classifying letter strings directly as mapping to phonemes with stress markers, yields significantly better generalisation accuracies than the two multi-module systems. Analyses of empirical results indicate that positive utility effects of sequencing modules are outweighed by cascading errors passed on between modules.
Tellings, Agnes; Coppens, Karien; Gelissen, John; Schreuder, Rob
Often, the classification of words does not go beyond "difficult" (i.e., infrequent, late-learned, nonimageable, etc.) or "easy" (i.e., frequent, early-learned, imageable, etc.) words. In the present study, we used a latent cluster analysis to divide 703 Dutch words with scores for eight word properties into seven clusters of words. Each cluster…
Vihman, Marilyn May; DePaolis, Rory A.; Keren-Portnoy, Tamar
Studies of phonological development that combine speech-processing experiments with observation and analysis of production remain rare, although production experience is necessarily relevant to developmental advance. Here we focus on three proposals regarding the relationship of production to word learning: (1) "Articulatory filter": The…
Hodges, Rosemary; Munro, Natalie; Baker, Elise; McGregor, Karla; Docking, Kimberley; Arciuli, Joanne
This study is about the role of elicited verbal imitation in toddler word learning. Forty-eight toddlers were taught eight nonwords linked to referents. During training, they were asked to imitate the nonwords. Naming of the referents was tested at three intervals (one minute later [uncued], five minutes, and 1-7 days later [cued]) and recognition…
Some Chinese students have learnt English for many years,however,they still fell hard to learn it well,sometimes it is because they do not have the writing-style awareness and do not pay enough attention to the word partnership.
Lew-Williams, Casey; Pelucchi, Bruna; Saffran, Jenny R.
Infants are adept at tracking statistical regularities to identify word boundaries in pause-free speech. However, researchers have questioned the relevance of statistical learning mechanisms to language acquisition, since previous studies have used simplified artificial languages that ignore the variability of real language input. The experiments…
Gillanders, Cristina; Castro, Dina C.; Franco, Ximena
Vocabulary development plays a critical role in young dual language learners' success in school. As teachers become aware of how they use language in the classroom, systematically teach specific words in a variety of ways, and learn about dual language learners' level of English acquisition and sociocultural experiences, they can help…
Bedford, R.; GLIGA, T.; Frame, K.; HUDRY, K.; CHANDLER, S; Johnson, M.H.; Charman, T; ,
Children's assignment of novel words to nameless objects, over objects whose names they know (mutual exclusivity; ME) has been described as a driving force for vocabulary acquisition. Despite their ability to use ME to fast-map words (Preissler & Carey, 2005), children with autism show impaired language acquisition. We aimed to address this puzzle by building on studies showing that correct referent selection using ME does not lead to word learning unless ostensive feedback is provided on the...
Kurdziel, Laura B F; Spencer, Rebecca M C
Sleep has been shown to improve the retention of newly learned words. However, most methodologies have used artificial or foreign language stimuli, with learning limited to word/novel word or word/image pairs. Such stimuli differ from many word-learning scenarios in which definition strings are learned with novel words. Thus, we examined sleep's benefit on learning new words within a native language by using very low-frequency words. Participants learned 45 low-frequency English words and, at subsequent recall, attempted to recall the words when given the corresponding definitions. Participants either learned in the morning with recall in the evening (wake group), or learned in the evening with recall the following morning (sleep group). Performance change across the delay was significantly better in the sleep than the wake group. Additionally, the Levenshtein distance, a measure of correctness of the typed word compared with the target word, became significantly worse following wake, whereas sleep protected correctness of recall. Polysomnographic data from a subsample of participants suggested that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may be particularly important for this benefit. These results lend further support for sleep's function on semantic learning even for word/definition pairs within a native language. PMID:25768336
Hashimoto, Kazuma; Stenetorp, Pontus; Miwa, Makoto; Tsuruoka, Yoshimasa
We present a novel learning method for word embeddings designed for relation classification. Our word embeddings are trained by predicting words between noun pairs using lexical relation-specific features on a large unlabeled corpus. This allows us to explicitly incorporate relation-specific information into the word embeddings. The learned word embeddings are then used to construct feature vectors for a relation classification model. On a well-established semantic relation classification tas...
Much of what is communicated in the classroom is through nonverbal means. Sending appropriate nonverbal signals, as well as recognizing and interpreting the nonverbal signals of others, are essential features of the learning process. Students' abilities to encode and decode nonverbal communication have the potential to affect all aspects of their…
Saylor, Megan M.; Sabbagh, Mark A.; Fortuna, Alexandra; Troseth, Georgene
In two studies, we investigated preschoolers' ability to use others' preferences to learn names for things. Two studies demonstrated that preschool children make smart use of others' preferences. In the first study, preschool children only used information about others' preferences when they were clearly linked to referential intentions. The…
Cui, Qing; Gao, Bin; Bian, Jiang; Qiu, Siyu; Liu, Tie-Yan
Neural network techniques are widely applied to obtain high-quality distributed representations of words, i.e., word embeddings, to address text mining, information retrieval, and natural language processing tasks. Recently, efficient methods have been proposed to learn word embeddings from context that captures both semantic and syntactic relationships between words. However, it is challenging to handle unseen words or rare words with insufficient context. In this paper, inspired by the stud...
Kooijman, Valesca; Hagoort, Peter; Cutler, Anne
Recognizing word boundaries in continuous speech requires detailed knowledge of the native language. In the first year of life, infants acquire considerable word segmentation abilities. Infants at this early stage in word segmentation rely to a large extent on the metrical pattern of their native language, at least in stress-based languages. In…
Nazzi, Thierry; Mersad, Karima; Sundara, Megha; Iakimova, Galina; Polka, Linda
Six experiments explored Parisian French-learning infants' ability to segment bisyllabic words from fluent speech. The first goal was to assess whether bisyllabic word segmentation emerges later in infants acquiring European French compared to other languages. The second goal was to determine whether infants learning different dialects of the…
Full Text Available In the biomedical domain, word sense ambiguity is a widely spread problem with bioinformatics research effort devoted to it being not commensurate and allowing for more development. This paper presents and evaluates a learning-based approach for sense disambiguation within the biomedical domain. The main limitation with supervised methods is the need for a corpus of manually disambiguated instances of the ambiguous words. However, the advances in automatic text annotation and tagging techniques with the help of the plethora of knowledge sources like ontologies and text literature in the biomedical domain will help lessen this limitation. The proposed method utilizes the interaction model (mutual information between the context words and the senses of the target word to induce reliable learning models for sense disambiguation. The method has been evaluated with the benchmark dataset NLM-WSD with various settings and in biomedical entity species disambiguation. The evaluation results showed that the approach is very competitive and outperforms recently reported results of other published techniques.
Steele, Sara C; Watkins, Ruth V
This study investigated whether children with language learning disability (LLD) differed from typically-developing peers in their ability to learn meanings of novel words presented during reading. Fifteen 9-11-year-old children with LLD and 15 typically-developing peers read four passages containing 20 nonsense words. Word learning was assessed through oral definition and multiple-choice tasks. Variables were position of informative context, number of exposures, part of speech, and contextual clues. The LLD group scored lower than same-aged peers on oral definition (p < .001) and multiple-choice (p < .001) tasks. For both groups, there was no effect for position of informative context (p = .867) or number of exposures (p = .223). All children benefitted from contextual clues. The findings suggested difficulty inferring and recalling word meanings during reading and pointed to the need for vocabulary intervention in the upper elementary years for children with LLD. PMID:20524848
Gillanders, Cristina; Castro, Dina C.; Franco, Ximena
Teaching vocabulary to young dual language learners is critical for their learning in school. This article presents recommendations for promoting vocabulary during reading aloud and conversations in early childhood.
Maria GraziaDi Bono; MarcoZorzi
It is widely believed that orthographic processing implies an approximate, flexible coding of letter position, as shown by relative-position and transposition priming effects in visual word recognition. These findings have inspired alternative proposals about the representation of letter position, ranging from noisy coding across the ordinal positions to relative position coding based on open bigrams. This debate can be cast within the broader problem of learning location-invariant representa...
Kaminski, Juliane; Call, Josep; Fischer, Julia
During speech acquisition, children form quick and rough hypotheses about the meaning of a new word after only a single exposure-a process dubbed "fast mapping." Here we provide evidence that a border collie, Rico, is able to fast map. Rico knew the labels of over 200 different items. He inferred the names of novel items by exclusion learning and correctly retrieved those items right away as well as 4 weeks after the initial exposure. Fast mapping thus appears to be mediated by general learning and memory mechanisms also found in other animals and not by a language acquisition device that is special to humans. PMID:15192233
Yue, Jinxing; Bastiaanse, Roelien; Alter, Kai
Although several experiments reported rapid cortical plasticity induced by passive exposure to novel segmental patterns, few studies have devoted attention to the neural dynamics during the rapid learning of novel tonal word-forms in tonal languages, such as Chinese. In the current study, native speakers of Mandarin Chinese were exposed to acoustically matched real and novel segment-tone patterns. By recording their Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses (an ERP indicator of long-term memory traces for spoken words), we found enhanced MMNs to the novel word-forms over the left-hemispheric region in the late exposure phase relative to the early exposure phase. In contrast, no significant changes were identified in MMN responses to the real word during familiarisation. Our results suggest a rapid Hebbian learning mechanism in the human neocortex which develops long-term memory traces for a novel segment-tone pattern by establishing new associations between the segmental and tonal representations. PMID:25463813
Kagan, Sharon Lynn, Ed.; Kauertz, Kristie, Ed.
In this seminal volume, leading authorities strategize about how to create early childhood systems that transcend politics and economics to serve the needs of all young children. The authors offer different interpretations of the nature of early childhood systems, discuss the elements necessary to support their development, and examine how…
Wagner, Katie; Marušič, Franc; Plesničar, Vesna; Razboršek, Tina; Sullivan, Jessica; Žaucer, Rok; Barner, David
Although both syntax and number words can indicate quantity, only numbers can specify large exact quantities. Do children use syntax to bootstrap preliminary meanings of number words before mastering precise meanings? We compared errors across languages on a Give-a-Number task in non-knowers (who have adult meanings for no number words) and subset knowers (who have adult meanings for fewer than five number words). Participants included learners of English, Spanish, French, and two ...
Nordström, Thomas; Jacobson, Christer; Söderberg, Pernilla
This study, using a longitudinal design with a Swedish cohort of young readers, investigates if children's early word decoding ability in second grade can predict later academic performance. In an effort to estimate the unique effect of early word decoding (grade 2) with academic performance (grade 9), gender and non-verbal cognitive ability were…
Kalashnikova, Marina; Burnham, Denis
Visual-verbal paired associate learning (PAL) refers to the ability to establish an arbitrary association between a visual referent and an unfamiliar label. It is now established that this ability is impaired in children with dyslexia, but the source of this deficit is yet to be specified. This study assesses PAL performance in children with reading difficulties using a modified version of the PAL paradigm, comprising a comprehension and a production phase, to determine whether the PAL deficit lies in children's ability to establish and retain novel object-novel word associations or their ability to retrieve the learned novel labels for production. Results showed that while children with reading difficulties required significantly more trials to learn the object-word associations, when they were required to use these associations in a comprehension-referent selection task, their accuracy and speed did not differ from controls. Nevertheless, children with reading difficulties were significantly less successful when they were required to produce the learned novel labels in response to the visual stimuli. Thus, these results indicate that while children with reading difficulties are successful at establishing visual-verbal associations, they have a deficit in the verbal production component of PAL tasks, which may relate to a more general underlying impairment in auditory or phonological processing. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:27146374
Ryan, Thomas; Date, Gavin
Herein, we address the reformation of Ontario early learning. Over the next 3 years, all 4- and 5-year-olds in Ontario (Canada) will be able to attend full-day early learning with child care, before and after school provided by the Government of Ontario Ministry of Education. The benefits of such a change are both academic and societal and are…
Full Text Available The Stroop task is an excellent tool to test whether reading a word automatically activates its associated meaning, and it has been widely used in mono- and bilingual contexts. Despite of its ubiquity, the task has not yet been employed to test the automaticity of recently established word-concept links in novel-word-learning studies, under strict experimental control of learning and testing conditions. In three experiments, we thus paired novel words with native language (German color words via lexical association and subsequently tested these words in a manual version of the Stroop task. Two crucial findings emerged: When novel word Stroop trials appeared intermixed among native-word trials, the novel-word Stroop effect was observed immediately after the learning phase. If no native color words were present in a Stroop block, the novel-word Stroop effect only emerged 24 hours later. These results suggest that the automatic availability of a novel word’s meaning depends either on supportive context from the learning episode and/or on sufficient time for memory consolidation. We discuss how these results can be reconciled with the complementary learning systems account of word learning.
This study used a quasi-experimental design to determine the effects of teachers’ story read-aloud on EFL elementary school students’ word learning outcomes. It specifically examined whether the word learning was enhanced by teachers’ repeated story read-aloud and word-meaning explanations and further determined whether the learning outcomes were related to children’s English proficiency. Two native English-speaking teachers read a story to their fourth-grade classes four times. The results s...
Griebel, Ulrike; Oller, D. Kimbrough
Rapid vocabulary learning in children has been attributed to “fast mapping”, with new words often claimed to be learned through a single presentation. As reported in 2004 in Science a border collie (Rico) not only learned to identify more than 200 words, but fast mapped the new words, remembering meanings after just one presentation. Our research tests the fast mapping interpretation of the Science paper based on Rico's results, while extending the demonstration of large vocabulary recognitio...
Storkel, Holly L.
Word learning consists of at least two neurocognitive processes: learning from input during training and memory evolution during gaps between training sessions. Fine-grained analysis of word learning by normal adults provides evidence that learning from input is swift and stable, whereas memory evolution is a point of potential vulnerability on the pathway to mastery. Moreover, success during learning from input is linked to positive outcomes from memory evolution. These two neurocognitive pr...
For teachers and students to be able to make informed decisions about how to best improve learning, it is important to compare learning strategies that are known to be effective. Both multimedia learning, based on the notion that individuals learn better from words and pictures presented together than from words alone, and retrieval practice, based on the idea that retrieving knowledge from the memory is an active process that has a beneficial impact on learning, have been found robust learni...
Escudero, Paola; Mulak, Karen E; Fu, Charlene S L; Singh, Leher
To succeed at cross-situational word learning, learners must infer word-object mappings by attending to the statistical co-occurrences of novel objects and labels across multiple encounters. While past studies have investigated this as a learning mechanism for infants and monolingual adults, bilinguals' cross-situational word learning abilities have yet to be tested. Here, we compared monolinguals' and bilinguals' performance on a cross-situational word learning paradigm that featured phonologically distinct word pairs (e.g., BON-DEET) and phonologically similar word pairs that varied by a single consonant or vowel segment (e.g., BON-TON, DEET-DIT, respectively). Both groups learned the novel word-referent mappings, providing evidence that cross-situational word learning is a learning strategy also available to bilingual adults. Furthermore, bilinguals were overall more accurate than monolinguals. This supports that bilingualism fosters a wide range of cognitive advantages that may benefit implicit word learning. Additionally, response patterns to the different trial types revealed a relative difficulty for vowel minimal pairs than consonant minimal pairs, replicating the pattern found in monolinguals by Escudero et al. (2016) in a different English accent. Specifically, all participants failed to learn vowel contrasts differentiated by vowel height. We discuss evidence for this bilingual advantage as a language-specific or general advantage. PMID:27574513
Norman, Tal; Degani, Tamar; Peleg, Orna
The present study examined visual word recognition processes in Hebrew (a Semitic language) among beginning learners whose first language (L1) was either Semitic (Arabic) or Indo-European (e.g. English). To examine if learners, like native Hebrew speakers, exhibit morphological sensitivity to root and word-pattern morphemes, learners made an…
Comesaña, Montserrat; Soares, Ana Paula; Sánchez-Casas, Rosa; Lima, Cátia
How bilinguals represent words in two languages and which mechanisms are responsible for second language acquisition are important questions in the bilingual and vocabulary acquisition literature. This study aims to analyse the effect of two learning methods (picture- vs. word-based method) and two types of words (cognates and non-cognates) in early stages of children's L2 acquisition. Forty-eight native speakers of European Portuguese, all sixth graders (mean age = 10.87 years; SD= 0.85), participated in the study. None of them had prior knowledge of Basque (the L2 in this study). After a learning phase in which L2 words were learned either by a picture- or a word-based method, children were tested in a backward-word translation recognition task at two times (immediately vs. one week later). Results showed that the participants made more errors when rejecting semantically related than semantically unrelated words as correct translations (semantic interference effect). The magnitude of this effect was higher in the delayed test condition regardless of the learning method. Moreover, the overall performance of participants from the word-based method was better than the performance of participants from the picture-word method. Results were discussed concerning the most significant bilingual lexical processing models. PMID:22804703
Dogan - Ibrahim
Full Text Available There is an increase use of wireless technologies in education all over the world. In fact, wireless technologies such as laptop computers, palmtop computers, and mobile phones are revolutionizing education and transforming the traditional classroom based learning and teaching into anytime and anywhere education. This paper investigates the use of wireless technologies in education with particular reference to the potential of learning new technical English Language words using SMS text messaging. The system, developed by the authors, called Mobile Learning Tool (MOLT, has been tested with 45 first-year undergraduate students. Students’ opinions have been collected after the experiment. Our results show that students enjoyed and be happy used mobile phones to learn new technical English word. We believe that if we add the improvements or modifications students wish to see in the MOLT system, then using the MOLT system as an educational tool will contribute to motivation and success of students.
Hayes-Harb, Rachel; Nicol, Janet; Barker, Jason
We investigated the relationship between the phonological and orthographic representations of new words for adult learners. Three groups of native English speakers learned a set of auditorily-presented pseudowords along with pictures indicating their "meanings". They were later tested on their memory of the words via an auditory word-picture…
Suanda, Sumarga H.; Namy, Laura L.
Recent research has demonstrated that word learners can determine word-referent mappings by tracking co-occurrences across multiple ambiguous naming events. The current study addresses the mechanisms underlying this capacity to learn words cross-situationally. This replication and extension of Yu and Smith (2007) investigates the factors…
This study examines several linguistic factors as possible contributors to perceived word difficulty in second language learners in an experimental setting. The investigated factors include: (1) frequency of word usage in the first language, (2) word length, (3) number of syllables in a word, and (4) number of consonant clusters in a word. Word…
Alok Ranjan Pal
Full Text Available The proposed algorithmic approach deals with finding the sense of a word in an electronic data. Now a day, in different communication mediums like internet, mobile services etc. people use few words, which are slang in nature. This approach detects those abusive words using supervised learning procedure. But in the real life scenario, the slang words are not used in complete word forms always. Most of the times, those words are used in different abbreviated forms like sounds alike forms, taboo morphemes etc. This proposed approach can detect those abbreviated forms also using semi supervised learning procedure. Using the synset and concept analysis of the text, the probability of a suspicious word to be a slang word is also evaluated.
Schwab, Jessica F; Lew-Williams, Casey
Young children who hear more child-directed speech (CDS) tend to have larger vocabularies later in childhood, but the specific characteristics of CDS underlying this link are currently underspecified. The present study sought to elucidate how the structure of language input boosts learning by investigating whether repetition of object labels in successive sentences-a common feature of natural CDS-promotes young children's efficiency in learning new words. Using a looking-while-listening paradigm, 2-year-old children were taught the names of novel objects, with exposures either repeated across successive sentences or distributed throughout labeling episodes. Results showed successful learning only when label-object pairs had been repeated in blocks of successive sentences, suggesting that immediate opportunities to detect recurring structure facilitate young children's learning. These findings offer insight into how the information flow within CDS might influence vocabulary development, and we consider the findings alongside research showing the benefits of distributing information across time. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27148781
Frishkoff, Gwen A.; Collins-Thompson, Kevyn; Hodges, Leslie; Crossley, Scott
The present study asked whether accuracy feedback on a meaning generation task would lead to improved contextual word learning (CWL). Active generation can facilitate learning by increasing task engagement and memory retrieval, which strengthens new word representations. However, forced generation results in increased errors, which can be…
Feldman, Naomi H.; Myers, Emily B.; White, Katherine S.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Morgan, James L.
Infants begin to segment words from fluent speech during the same time period that they learn phonetic categories. Segmented words can provide a potentially useful cue for phonetic learning, yet accounts of phonetic category acquisition typically ignore the contexts in which sounds appear. We present two experiments to show that, contrary to the…
Piantadosi, Steven T.; Jara-Ettinger, Julian; Gibson, Edward
We show that children in the Tsimane', a farming-foraging group in the Bolivian rain-forest, learn number words along a similar developmental trajectory to children from industrialized countries. Tsimane' children successively acquire the first three or four number words before fully learning how counting works. However, their learning…
Peled, Shir; Schocken, Shimon
The ability to develop engaging simulations and constructive learning experiences using mobile devices is unprecedented, presenting a disruption in educational practices of historical proportions. In this paper we describe some of the unique virtues that mobile learning hold for early age mathematics education. In particular, we describe how…
Hsiung, C .M.; Luo, L. F.; Chung, H. C.
Cooperative learning has many pedagogical benefits. However, if the cooperative learning teams become ineffective, these benefits are lost. Accordingly, this study developed a computer-aided assessment method for identifying ineffective teams at their early stage of dysfunction by using the Mahalanobis distance metric to examine the difference…
Benitez, Viridiana L.; Smith, Linda B.
Expectancy-based localized attention has been shown to promote the formation and retrieval of multisensory memories in adults. Three experiments show that these processes also characterize attention and learning in 16- to 18-month old infants and, moreover, that these processes may play a critical role in supporting early object name learning. The…
Parault, Susan J.; Parkinson, Meghan
Sound symbolism is the notion that there is a subset of words in the world's languages for which sounds and their symbols have some degree of correspondence. Two studies assessed 5th and 6th graders' knowledge of word meanings for English sound symbolic and non-sound symbolic words. Both studies found that the meanings of sound symbolic words were…
Full Text Available We examined the influence of bilingual experience and inhibitory control on the ability to learn a novel language. Using a statistical learning paradigm, participants learned words in two novel languages that were based on the International Morse Code. First, participants listened to a continuous stream of words in a Morse code language to test their ability to segment words from continuous speech. Since Morse code does not overlap in form with natural languages, interference from known languages was low. Next, participants listened to another Morse code language composed of new words that conflicted with the first Morse code language. Interference in this second language was high due to conflict between languages and due to the presence of two colliding cues (compressed pauses between words and statistical regularities that competed to define word boundaries. Results suggest that bilingual experience can improve word learning when interference from other languages is low, while inhibitory control ability can improve word learning when interference from other languages is high. We conclude that the ability to extract novel words from continuous speech is a skill that is affected both by linguistic factors, such as bilingual experience, and by cognitive abilities, such as inhibitory control.
Woodard, Kristina; Gleitman, Lila R.; Trueswell, John C.
A child word-learning experiment is reported that examines 2- and 3-year-olds' ability to learn the meanings of novel words across multiple, referentially ambiguous, word occurrences. Children were told they were going on an animal safari in which they would learn the names of unfamiliar animals. Critical trial sequences began with hearing a novel…
Sun, Koun-Tem; Huang, Yueh-Min; Liu, Ming-Chi
Near-Synonyms and Similar-Looking (NSSL) words can create confusion for English as Foreign Language Learners as a result of a type of lexical error that often occurs when they confuse similar-looking words that are near synonyms to have the same meaning. Particularly, this may occur if the similar-looking words have the same translated meaning.…
Piantadosi, Steven Thomas; Jara-Ettinger, Julian; Gibson, Edward A.
We show that children in the Tsimane', a farming-foraging group in the Bolivian rain-forest, learn number words along a similar developmental trajectory to children from industrialized countries. Tsimane' children successively acquire the first three or four number words before fully learning how counting works. However, their learning is substantially delayed relative to children from the United States, Russia, and Japan. The presence of a similar developmental trajectory likely indicates th...
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011
About 80,000 children enter kindergarten in Washington each year, and many lack basic language and behavioral skills--such as knowing letters and colors, following directions, getting along with others, and exhibiting impulse-control. In 2006, based on the recommendation of the Washington Learns Commission, Governor Christine Gregoire created the…
Kelly, Spencer D.; Lee, Angela L.
It is now widely accepted that hand gestures help people understand and learn language. Here, we provide an exception to this general rule--when phonetic demands are high, gesture actually hurts. Native English-speaking adults were instructed on the meaning of novel Japanese word pairs that were for non-native speakers phonetically hard (/ite/ vs.…
Korat, Ofra; Levin, Iris; Ben-Shabt, Anat; Shneor, Dafna; Bokovza, Limor
We investigated the extent to which a dictionary embedded in an e-book with static or dynamic visuals with and without printed focal words affects word learning. A pretest-posttest design was used to measure gains of expressive words' meaning and their spelling. The participants included 250 Hebrew-speaking second graders from…
Gladfelter, Allison; Goffman, Lisa
The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of prosodic stress patterns and semantic depth on word learning. Twelve preschool-aged children with typically developing speech and language skills participated in a word learning task. Novel words with either a trochaic or iambic prosodic pattern were embedded in one of two learning conditions, either in children’s stories (semantically rich) or picture matching games (semantically sparse). Three main analyses were used to measure word l...
Storkel, Holly L.; Bontempo, Daniel E.; Pak, Natalie S.
Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated adult word learning to determine how neighborhood density and practice across phonologically related training sets influence online learning from input during training versus offline memory evolution during no-training gaps. Method: Sixty-one adults were randomly assigned to learn low- or…
Trueswell, John C; Medina, Tamara Nicol; Hafri, Alon; Gleitman, Lila R
We report three eyetracking experiments that examine the learning procedure used by adults as they pair novel words and visually presented referents over a sequence of referentially ambiguous trials. Successful learning under such conditions has been argued to be the product of a learning procedure in which participants provisionally pair each novel word with several possible referents and use a statistical-associative learning mechanism to gradually converge on a single mapping across learning instances [e.g., Yu, C., & Smith, L. B. (2007). Rapid word learning under uncertainty via cross-situational statistics. Psychological Science, 18(5), 414-420]. We argue here that successful learning in this setting is instead the product of a one-trial procedure in which a single hypothesized word-referent pairing is retained across learning instances, abandoned only if the subsequent instance fails to confirm the pairing--more a 'fast mapping' procedure than a gradual statistical one. We provide experimental evidence for this propose-but-verify learning procedure via three experiments in which adult participants attempted to learn the meanings of nonce words cross-situationally under varying degrees of referential uncertainty. The findings, using both explicit (referent selection) and implicit (eye movement) measures, show that even in these artificial learning contexts, which are far simpler than those encountered by a language learner in a natural environment, participants do not retain multiple meaning hypotheses across learning instances. As we discuss, these findings challenge 'gradualist' accounts of word learning and are consistent with the known rapid course of vocabulary learning in a first language. PMID:23142693
Vahid Nejati; Bahareh Barzegar; Elham Faghihi
Background: Explicit and implicit memories have different cerebral origins and learning approaches. Defective emotional words processing in children with autism may affect the memory allocated to such words. The aim of this study was comparing two types of (explicit and implicit) memories during processing the two types of (emotional and non-emotional) words in autistic children and their healthy counterparts. Materials and Methods: The present cross sectional study was conducted on 14 autist...
This study looks at how much input is needed to gain enough repetition of the 1st 9,000 words of English for learning to occur. It uses corpora of various sizes and composition to see how many tokens of input would be needed to gain at least twelve repetitions and to meet most of the words at eight of the nine 1000 word family levels. Corpus sizes…
Simons, P.R.J.; Biemans, H.J.A.
In this study the effects of 7embedding regulation questions and regulation hints in a concurrent computer-assisted instruction (CAI) program aimed at learning to use a word processor were examined. This instructional shell WP-DAGOGUE controlled the interaction between the subject and the word processor WordPerfect. The three regulation conditions were characterized by: (1) content help plus regulation questions plus regulation hints; (2) content help plus regulation questions; (3) content he...
Heisler, Lori; Goffman, Lisa
A word learning paradigm was used to teach children novel words that varied in phonotactic probability and neighborhood density. The effects of frequency and density on speech production were examined when phonetic forms were nonreferential (i.e., when no referent was attached) and when phonetic forms were referential (i.e., when a referent was…
Havy, Melanie; Nazzi, Thierry
Previous research using the name-based categorization task has shown that 20-month-old infants can simultaneously learn 2 words that only differ by 1 consonantal feature but fail to do so when the words only differ by 1 vocalic feature. This asymmetry was taken as evidence for the proposal that consonants are more important than vowels at the…
Bosman, A.M.T.; Hell, J.G. van; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
In 2 experiments, the authors tested the effect of 2 types of reading on the spelling memory of strange or sound-spelling inconsistent words in Dutch students with and without learning disabilities: standard reading and regularized reading. Standard reading refers to reading the word the way it has
Gonsalves, Nicola; Krawec, Jennifer
Students with learning disabilities (LD) consistently struggle with word problem solving in mathematics classes. This difficulty has made curricular, state, and national tests particularly stressful, as word problem solving has become a predominant feature of such student performance assessments. Research suggests that students with LD perform…
Blaiser, Kristina M.; Nelson, Peggy B.; Kohnert, Kathryn
This study examines the impact of repeated exposures on word learning of preschool children with and without hearing loss (HL) in quiet and noise conditions. Participants were 19 children with HL and 17 peers with normal hearing (NH). Children were introduced to 16 words: 8 in quiet and 8 in noise conditions. Production and identification scores…
Biemans, Harm J. A.; Simons, P. Robert-Jan
Effects of embedding regulation questions and regulation hints in a concurrent computer-assisted instruction program aimed at word processor use were examined for 133 Dutch second-grade vocational education students. Results support the value of regulation questions and hints in learning to use the word processing program. (SLD)
Arima, James K.; Gray, Francis D.
Information theory was used to qualify the difficulty of verbal discrimination (VD) learning tasks and to measure VD performance. Words for VD items were selected with high background frequency and equal a priori probabilities of being selected as a first response. Three VD lists containing only 2-, 3-, or 4-word items were created and equated for…
Lew-Williams, Casey; Saffran, Jenny R.
Infants have been described as "statistical learners" capable of extracting structure (such as words) from patterned input (such as language). Here, we investigated whether prior knowledge influences how infants track transitional probabilities in word segmentation tasks. Are infants biased by prior experience when engaging in sequential…
Verga, Laura; Bigand, Emmanuel; Kotz, Sonja A.
Learning new words is an increasingly common necessity in everyday life. External factors, among which music and social interaction are particularly debated, are claimed to facilitate this task. Due to their influence on the learner’s temporal behavior, these stimuli are able to drive the learner’s attention to the correct referent of new words at the correct point in time. However, do music and social interaction impact learning behavior in the same way? The current study aims to answer this...
Laura eVerga; Emmanuel eBigand; Kotz, Sonja A. E.
Learning new words is an increasingly common necessity in everyday life. External factors, among which music and social interaction are particularly debated, are claimed to facilitate this task. Due to their influence on the learner’s temporal behavior, these stimuli are able to drive the learner's attention to the correct referent of new words at the correct point in time. However, do music and social interaction impact learning behavior in the same way? The current study aims to answer this...
Cooper, Angela Kanita
Adult non-native perception is subject to influence from a variety of factors, including linguistic experience as well as other cognitive functions such as musical experience. The present research examines how these two factors influence non-native tone perception and word learning. Native Thai and English listeners, subdivided into musician and non-musician groups, engaged in a perceptual training program. They learned words distinguished by five Cantonese tones during training, also complet...
Gliga, Teodora; Elsabbagh, Mayada; Hudry, Kristelle; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H.
This study investigated gaze-following abilities as a prerequisite for word learning, in a population expected to manifest a wide range of social and communicative skills--children with a family history of autism. Fifty-three 3-year-olds with or without a family history of autism took part in a televised word-learning task. Using an eye-tracker to…
Neuman, Susan B.; Wright, Tanya S.
Developing a large and rich vocabulary is central to learning to read. Children must know the words that make up written texts in order to understand them, especially as the vocabulary demands of content-related materials increase in the upper grades. Studies have documented that the size of a person's vocabulary is strongly related to how…
Nishibayashi, Léo-Lyuki; Nazzi, Thierry
The division of labor hypothesis proposed by Nespor, Peña, and Mehler (2003) postulates that consonants are more important than vowels in lexical processing (when learning and recognizing words). This consonant bias (C-bias) is supported by many adult and toddler studies. However, some cross-linguistic variation has been found in toddlerhood, and various hypotheses have been proposed to account for the origin of the consonant bias, which make distinct predictions regarding its developmental trajectory during the first year of life. The present study evaluated these hypotheses by investigating the consonant bias in young French-learning infants, a language in which a consistent consonant bias is reported from 11months of age onward. Accordingly, in a series of word form segmentation experiments building on the fact that both 6- and 8-month-old French-learning infants can segment monosyllabic words, we investigated the relative impact of consonant and vowel mispronunciations on the recognition of segmented word forms at these two ages. Infants were familiarized with passages containing monosyllabic target words and then tested in different conditions all including consonant and/or vowel mispronunciations of the target words. Overall, our findings reveal a consonant bias at 8months, but an opposite vowel bias at 6months. These findings first establish that the consonant bias emerges between 6 and 8months of age in French-learning infants. Second, we discuss the factors that might explain such a developmental trajectory, highlighting the possible roles of pre-lexical and phonological acquisition. PMID:27428809
Singh, Leher; Nestor, Sarah; Parikh, Chandni; Yull, Ashley
When addressing infants, many adults adopt a particular type of speech, known as infant-directed speech (IDS). IDS is characterized by exaggerated intonation, as well as reduced speech rate, shorter utterance duration, and grammatical simplification. It is commonly asserted that IDS serves in part to facilitate language learning. Although…
Sulpizio, S.; McQueen, J.M.
Do listeners use lexical stress at an early stage in word learning? Artificial-lexicon studies have shown that listeners can learn new spoken words easily. These studies used non-words differing in consonants and/or vowels, but not differing only in stress. If listeners use stress information in word learning, they should be able to learn new words that differ only in stress (e.g., BInulo-biNUlo). We investigated this issue here. When learning new words, Italian listeners relied on segmental ...
Liuzzi, Gianpiero; Freundlieb, Nils; Ridder, Volker; Hoppe, Julia; Heise, Kirstin; Zimerman, Maximo; Dobel, Christian; Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Gerloff, Christian; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Hummel, Friedhelm C
Current theoretical positions assume that action-related word meanings are established by functional connections between perisylvian language areas and the motor cortex (MC) according to Hebb's associative learning principle. To test this assumption, we probed the functional relevance of the left MC for learning of a novel action word vocabulary by disturbing neural plasticity in the MC with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In combination with tDCS, subjects learned a novel vocabulary of 76 concrete, body-related actions by means of an associative learning paradigm. Compared with a control condition with "sham" stimulation, cathodal tDCS reduced success rates in vocabulary acquisition, as shown by tests of novel action word translation into the native language. The analysis of learning behavior revealed a specific effect of cathodal tDCS on the ability to associatively couple actions with novel words. In contrast, we did not find these effects in control experiments, when tDCS was applied to the prefrontal cortex or when subjects learned object-related words. The present study lends direct evidence to the proposition that the left MC is causally involved in the acquisition of novel action-related words. PMID:20888226
Graf Estes, Katharine; Gluck, Stephanie Chen-Wu; Grimm, Kevin J
Native language statistical regularities about allowable phoneme combinations (i.e., phonotactic patterns) may provide learners with cues to support word learning. The current research investigated the association between infants' native language phonotactic knowledge and their word learning progress, as measured by vocabulary size. In the experiment, 19-month-old infants listened to a corpus of nonce words that contained novel phonotactic patterns. All words began with "illegal" consonant clusters that cannot occur in native (English) words. The rationale for the task was that infants with fragile phonotactic knowledge should exhibit stronger learning of the novel illegal phonotactic patterns than infants with robust phonotactic knowledge. We found that infants with smaller vocabularies showed stronger phonotactic learning than infants with larger vocabularies even after accounting for general cognition. We propose that learning about native language structure may promote vocabulary development by providing a foundation for word learning; infants with smaller vocabularies may have weaker support from phonotactics than infants with larger vocabularies. Furthermore, stored vocabulary knowledge may promote the detection of phonotactic patterns even during infancy. PMID:26905502
Full Text Available Background: Explicit and implicit memories have different cerebral origins and learning approaches. Defective emotional words processing in children with autism may affect the memory allocated to such words. The aim of this study was comparing two types of (explicit and implicit memories during processing the two types of (emotional and non-emotional words in autistic children and their healthy counterparts. Materials and Methods: The present cross sectional study was conducted on 14 autistic children, who had referred to Autism Medical Treatment Center on Tehran, and 14 healthy children in kindergartens and schools across Tehran. For the explicit memory, a list of words was presented to the subjects of our study and they were asked to repeat the words they heard one time immediately and one time with delay. For implicit memory, the subjects were asked to identify the heard words among the presented words. Statistical analysis was performed using two-way analysis of variance. Results: The results showed that the normal children have higher efficiency in explicit and implicit memory than the children with autism (p<0.01. The two-way analysis of memory type and word type showed that the former affects memory significantly (p<0.05 while word type had no significant effect. Conclusion: Autistic children suffer from impaired memory. This defect is higher in implicit memory than in the explicit memory. It is recommended to apply rehabilitation, training, learning approaches and also explicit memory for interventions of autistic children.
Yoncheva, Yuliya N; Wise, Jessica; McCandliss, Bruce
Selective attention to grapheme-phoneme mappings during learning can impact the circuitry subsequently recruited during reading. Here we trained literate adults to read two novel scripts of glyph words containing embedded letters under different instructions. For one script, learners linked each embedded letter to its corresponding sound within the word (grapheme-phoneme focus); for the other, decoding was prevented so entire words had to be memorized. Post-training, ERPs were recorded during a reading task on the trained words within each condition and on untrained but decodable (transfer) words. Within this condition, reaction-time patterns suggested both trained and transfer words were accessed via sublexical units, yet a left-lateralized, late ERP response showed an enhanced left lateralization for transfer words relative to trained words, potentially reflecting effortful decoding. Collectively, these findings show that selective attention to grapheme-phoneme mappings during learning drives the lateralization of circuitry that supports later word recognition. This study thus provides a model example of how different instructional approaches to the same material may impact changes in brain circuitry. PMID:25935827
Alok Ranjan Pal
Full Text Available In this paper, we are going to find meaning of words based on distinct situations. Word Sense Disambiguation is used to find meaning of words based on live contexts using supervised and unsupervised approaches. Unsupervised approaches use online dictionary for learning, and supervised approaches use manual learning sets. Hand tagged data are populated which might not be effective and sufficient for learning procedure. This limitation of information is main flaw of the supervised approach. Our proposed approach focuses to overcome the limitation using learning set which is enriched in dynamic way maintaining new data. Trivial filtering method is utilized to achieve appropriate training data. We introduce a mixed methodology having “Modified Lesk” approach and “Bag-of-Words” having enriched bags using learning methods. Our approach establishes the superiority over individual “Modified Lesk” and “Bag-of-Words” approaches based on experimentation.
Lehtonen, Minna; Hulten, Annika; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Cunillera, Toni; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Laine, Matti
We investigated the behavioral and brain responses (ERPs) of bilingual word recognition to three fundamental psycholinguistic factors, frequency, morphology, and lexicality, in early bilinguals vs. monolinguals. Earlier behavioral studies have reported larger frequency effects in bilinguals' nondominant vs. dominant language and in some studies…
Presents some negative aspects of society's dependence on digital transformation of words by referring to works by Walter Ong and Martin Heidegger. Discusses orality, literacy and digital literacy and describes three aspects of the digital transformation of words. Compares/contrasts art with technology and discusses implications for education.…
Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B.
Both adults and young children possess powerful statistical computation capabilities--they can infer the referent of a word from highly ambiguous contexts involving many words and many referents by aggregating cross-situational statistical information across contexts. This ability has been explained by models of hypothesis testing and by models of…
Maurer, Urs; Rossion, Bruno; McCandliss, Bruce D
N170 event-related potential (ERP) responses to both faces and visual words raises questions about category specific processing mechanisms during early perception and their neural basis. Topographic differences across word and face N170s suggests a form of category specific processing in early perception - the word N170 is consistently left-lateralized, while less consistent evidence supports a right-lateralization for the face N170. Additionally, the face N170 shows a reduction in amplitude ...
Maurer, Urs; Rossion, Bruno; McCandliss, Bruce D
N170 event-related potential (ERP) responses to both faces and visual words raises questions about category specific processing mechanisms during early perception and their neural basis. Topographic differences across word and face N170s suggests a form of category specific processing in early perception – the word N170 is consistently left-lateralized, while less consistent evidence supports a right-lateralization for the face N170. Additionally, the face N170 shows a reduction in amplitude ...
Smith, Linda B; Yu, Chen
Recent evidence shows that infants can learn words and referents by aggregating ambiguous information across situations to discern the underlying word-referent mappings. Here, we use an individual difference approach to understand the role of different kinds of attentional processes in this learning: 12-and 14-month-old infants participated in a cross-situational word-referent learning task in which the learning trials were ordered to create local novelty effects, effects that should not alter the statistical evidence for the underlying correspondences. The main dependent measures were derived from frame-by-frame analyses of eye gaze direction. The fine- grained dynamics of looking behavior implicates different attentional processes that may compete with or support statistical learning. The discussion considers the role of attention in binding heard words to seen objects, individual differences in attention and vocabulary development, and the relation between macro-level theories of word learning and the micro-level dynamic processes that underlie learning. PMID:24403867
Drummond, Mary Jane
This review of Caroline Pratt's life and work in early years education includes an account of how a six-year-old boy taught a woman in her thirties what she needed to know in order to open a school--in 1914--that continues to this day, a school that was, in the founder's own words, fitted to the child and not the other way around. It…
Gladfelter, Allison; Goffman, Lisa
The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of prosodic stress patterns and semantic depth on word learning. Twelve preschool-aged children with typically developing speech and language skills participated in a word learning task. Novel words with either a trochaic or iambic prosodic pattern were embedded in one of two learning conditions, either in children's stories (semantically rich) or picture matching games (semantically sparse). Three main analyses were used to measure word learning: comprehension and production probes, phonetic accuracy, and speech motor stability. Results revealed that prosodic frequency and density influence the learnability of novel words, or that there are prosodic neighborhood density effects. The impact of semantic depth on word learning was minimal and likely depends on the amount of experience with the novel words. PMID:23667328
Children's English learning in China attracts more and more people's attention and is on the teidency of starting at an early age. Under the trend of "learning English from childhood", the author has explored the Criical Period Hypothesis and discussed the younger learners' dsadvantages and older learners'advantages when learning Englsh. and concludes that early-age English learning is not feasible.
Examining theoretical aspects and practical examples, the thesis demonstrates the importance of using puppets in the early teaching of English. It leads to the conclusion that the use of puppets is invaluable, as they significantly contribute to creating good atmosphere in the group and the child-friendly environment for learning English. Their use helps children lose the fear of loud pronunciation as the puppets, their friends, present to them “their” English language through game. Practical...
Benitez-Bordon, R.; Schuster, Donald H.
This study found that the three variables, suggestion, synchronized music and breathing, had a large positive effect on the learning and retention of 50 Spanish words. Available from: Society for Suggestive-Accelerative Learning and Teaching, 2740 Richmond Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. (CFM)
Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B.
Recent studies show that both adults and young children possess powerful statistical learning capabilities to solve the word-to-world mapping problem. However, the underlying mechanisms that make statistical learning possible and powerful are not yet known. With the goal of providing new insights into this issue, the research reported in this…
Alishahi, Afra; Fazly, Afsaneh; Koehne, Judith; Crocker, Matthew W
When looking for the referents of novel nouns, adults and young children are sensitive to cross-situational statistics (Yu and Smith, 2007; Smith and Yu, 2008). In addition, the linguistic context that a word appears in has been shown to act as a powerful attention mechanism for guiding sentence processing and word learning (Landau and Gleitman, 1985; Altmann and Kamide, 1999; Kako and Trueswell, 2000). Koehne and Crocker (2010, 2011) investigate the interaction between cross-situational evidence and guidance from the sentential context in an adult language learning scenario. Their studies reveal that these learning mechanisms interact in a complex manner: they can be used in a complementary way when context helps reduce referential uncertainty; they influence word learning about equally strongly when cross-situational and contextual evidence are in conflict; and contextual cues block aspects of cross-situational learning when both mechanisms are independently applicable. To address this complex pattern of findings, we present a probabilistic computational model of word learning which extends a previous cross-situational model (Fazly et al., 2010) with an attention mechanism based on sentential cues. Our model uses a framework that seamlessly combines the two sources of evidence in order to study their emerging pattern of interaction during the process of word learning. Simulations of the experiments of (Koehne and Crocker, 2010, 2011) reveal an overall pattern of results that are in line with their findings. Importantly, we demonstrate that our model does not need to explicitly assign priority to either source of evidence in order to produce these results: learning patterns emerge as a result of a probabilistic interaction between the two clue types. Moreover, using a computational model allows us to examine the developmental trajectory of the differential roles of cross-situational and sentential cues in word learning. PMID:22783211
Full Text Available When looking for the referents of nouns, adults and young children are sensitive to cross- situational statistics (Yu & Smith, 2007; Smith & Yu, 2008. In addition, the linguistic context that a word appears in has been shown to act as a powerful attention mechanism for guiding sentence processing and word learning (Landau & Gleitman, 1985; Altmann & Kamide, 1999; Kako & Trueswell, 2000. Koehne & Crocker (2010, 2011 investigate the interaction between cross-situational evidence and guidance from the sentential context in an adult language learning scenario. Their studies reveal that these learning mechanisms interact in a complex manner: they can be used in a complementary way when context helps reduce referential uncertainty; they influence word learning about equally strongly when cross-situational and contextual evidence are in conflict; and contextual cues block aspects of cross-situational learning when both mechanisms are independently applicable. To address this complex pattern of findings, we present a probabilistic computational model of word learning which extends a previous cross-situational model (Fazly et al., 2010 with an attention mechanism based on sentential cues. Our model uses a framework that seamlessly combines the two sources of evidence in order to study their emerging pattern of interaction during the process of word learning. Simulations of the experiments of Koehne & Crocker (2010, 2011 reveal an overall patterns of results that are in line with their findings. Importantly, we demonstrate that our model does not need to explicitly assign priority to either source of evidence in order to produce these results: learning patterns emerge as a result of a probabilistic interaction between the two types of cues. Moreover, using a computational model allows us to examine the developmental trajectory of the differential roles of cross-situational and sentential cues in word learning.
An implicit word learning paradigm was designed to test the hypothesis that children who came to the task of L2 vocabulary acquisition with poorer L1 phonological awareness (PA) are less capable of extracting phonological patterns from L2 and thus have difficulties capitalizing on this knowledge to support L2 vocabulary learning. A group of…
Thompson, G Brian; Fletcher-Flinn, Claire M; Wilson, Kathryn J; McKay, Michael F; Margrain, Valerie G
Predictions from theories of the processes of word reading acquisition have rarely been tested against evidence from exceptionally early readers. The theories of Ehri, Share, and Byrne, and an alternative, Knowledge Sources theory, were so tested. The former three theories postulate that full development of context-free letter sounds and awareness of phonemes are required for normal acquisition, while the claim of the alternative is that with or without such, children can use sublexical information from their emerging reading vocabularies to acquire word reading. Results from two independent samples of children aged 3-5, and 5 years, with mean word reading levels of 7 and 9 years respectively, showed underdevelopment of their context-free letter sounds and phoneme awareness, relative to their word reading levels and normal comparison samples. Despite such underdevelopment, these exceptional readers engaged in a form of phonological recoding that enabled pseudoword reading, at the level of older-age normal controls matched on word reading level. Moreover, in the 5-year-old sample further experiments showed that, relative to normal controls, they had a bias toward use of sublexical information from their reading vocabularies for phonological recoding of heterophonic pseudowords with irregular consistent spelling, and were superior in accessing word meanings independently of phonology, although only if the readers were without exposure to explicit phonics. The three theories were less satisfactory than the alternative theory in accounting for the learning of the exceptionally early readers. PMID:25498743
Kwon, Youan; Choi, Sungmook; Lee, Yoonhyoung
This study examines whether orthographic information is used during prelexical processes in spoken word recognition by investigating ERPs during spoken word processing for Korean words. Differential effects due to orthographic syllable neighborhood size and sound-to-spelling consistency on P200 and N320 were evaluated by recording ERPs from 42 participants during a lexical decision task. The results indicate that P200 was smaller for words whose orthographic syllable neighbors are large in number rather than those that are small. In addition, a word with a large orthographic syllable neighborhood elicited a smaller N320 effect than a word with a small orthographic syllable neighborhood only when the word had inconsistent sound-to-spelling mapping. The results provide support for the assumption that orthographic information is used early during the prelexical spoken word recognition process. PMID:26669620
Alok Ranjan Pal
Full Text Available In this paper, we are going to find meaning of words based on distinct situations. Word SenseDisambiguation is used to find meaning of words based on live contexts using supervised and unsupervisedapproaches. Unsupervised approaches use online dictionary for learning, and supervised approaches usemanual learning sets. Hand tagged data are populated which might not be effective and sufficient forlearning procedure. This limitation of informationis main flaw of the supervised approach. Our proposedapproach focuses to overcome the limitation using learning set which is enriched in dynamic waymaintaining new data. Trivial filtering method is utilized to achieve appropriate training data. Weintroduce a mixed methodology having “Modified Lesk” approach and “Bag-of-Words” having enrichedbags using learning methods. Our approach establishes the superiority over individual “Modified Lesk”and “Bag-of-Words” approaches based on experimentation.
Fudenberg, Drew; Ellison, Glenn
This paper studies the way that word-of-mouth communication aggregates the information of individual agents. We find that the structure of the communication process determines whether all agents end up making identical choices, with less communication making this conformity more likely. Despite the players' naive decision rules and the stochastic decision environment, word-of-mouth communication may lead all players to adopt the action that is on average superior. These socially efficient out...
Full Text Available A growing number of studies are addressing methodological approaches to treating anomia in persons with aphasia. What is missing from these studies are validated procedures for determining which words have the greatest potential for recovery. The current study evaluates the usefulness of several word-specific variables and one subject-specific measure in predicting success in re-learning problematic words. Methods: Two participants, YPR and ODH, presented with fluent aphasia and marked anomia. YPR’s Aphasia Quotient on the Western Aphasia Battery was 58.8; ODH’s AQ was 79.5. Stimuli were 96 pictures chosen individually for each participant from among those that they named incorrectly on multiple baselines. Subsequently, participants were presented with each picture and asked to indicate whether they could name it covertly, or “in their head.” Each subject completed a biweekly anomia treatment for these pictures. We performed separate statistical analyses for each subject. Dependent variables included whether each word was learned during treatment (Acquisition and the number of sessions required to learn each word (#Sessions. We used logistic regression models to evaluate the association of (self-reported covert naming success with Acquisition, and linear regression models to assess the relationship between (self-reported covert naming success and #Sessions. Starting with the predictors of covert naming accuracy, number of syllables (#syllables, number of phonemes (#phonemes, and frequency, we used backwards elimination methods to select the final regression models. Results: By the end of 25 treatment sessions, YPR had learned 90.2% (37/41 of the covertly correct words but only 70.4% (38/54 of the covertly incorrect words. In the unadjusted analysis, covert naming was significantly associated with Acquisition, OR=3.89, 95% CI: (1.19, 12.74, p=0.025. The result remained significant after adjustment for #phonemes (the only other predictor
Nomura, Yoshihiko; Sakamoto, Ryota
In order to get students in engineering courses to acquire a good command of English, a coursework named “English for Engineers” has been offered to senior students in the department of mechanical engineering of Mie University. The authors place much value on the coursework from the viewpoints of acquiring the ability of (1) accurate pronunciations in accordance with phonetic symbols, and (2) a series of translations from a word-for-word translation to a free one. To make the coursework more effective, the authors have developed an e-learning system. The system supports teachers in engineering departments who are normally non-professionals in English education. The results showed that the proposed system is effective for comprehending the importance on the above-mentioned two viewpoints.
Nussenbaum, Kate; Amso, Dima
Television can be a powerful education tool; however, content-makers must understand the factors that engage attention and promote learning from screen media. Prior research suggests that social engagement is critical for learning and that interactivity may enhance the educational quality of children’s media. The present study examined the effects of increasing the social interactivity of television on children’s visual attention and word learning. Three- to 5-year-old (MAge = 4;5 years, SD =...
Sulpizio, S.; McQueen, J.M.
Do listeners use lexical stress at an early stage in word learning? Artificial-lexicon studies have shown that listeners can learn new spoken words easily. These studies used non-words differing in consonants and/or vowels, but not differing only in stress. If listeners use stress information in wor
Lee, Lay Wah; Wheldall, Kevin
Malay is a consistent alphabetic orthography with complex syllable structures. The focus of this research was to investigate word recognition performance in order to inform reading interventions for low-progress early readers. Forty-six Grade 1 students were sampled and 11 were identified as low-progress readers. The results indicated that both syllable awareness and phoneme blending were significant predictors of word recognition, suggesting that both syllable and phonemic grain-sizes are important in Malay word recognition. Item analysis revealed a hierarchical pattern of difficulty based on the syllable and the phonic structure of the words. Error analysis identified the sources of errors to be errors due to inefficient syllable segmentation, oversimplification of syllables, insufficient grapheme-phoneme knowledge and inefficient phonemic code assembly. Evidence also suggests that direct instruction in syllable segmentation, phonemic awareness and grapheme-phoneme correspondence is necessary for low-progress readers to acquire word recognition skills. Finally, a logical sequence to teach grapheme-phoneme decoding in Malay is suggested. PMID:21241030
Larry Lewandowski; Cassie L. Berger
The effects of writing format (handwritten (HW) versus word processor (WP)) were examined in a sample of college students with and without learning disabilities (LD). All students wrote two essays, one in each format, scored for quality and length. Groups did not differ in age, gender, ethnicity, mathematical calculation, writing fluency, essay length or essay quality. The "interaction hypothesis" was not supported, in that the use of a word processor as a writing accommodation did not provid...
AfraAlishahi; MatthewWCrocker; AfsanehFazly
When looking for the referents of nouns, adults and young children are sensitive to cross- situational statistics (Yu & Smith, 2007; Smith & Yu, 2008). In addition, the linguistic context that a word appears in has been shown to act as a powerful attention mechanism for guiding sentence processing and word learning (Landau & Gleitman, 1985; Altmann & Kamide, 1999; Kako & Trueswell, 2000). Koehne & Crocker (2010, 2011) investigate the interaction between cross-situation...
Tek, Saime; Jaffery, Gul; Fein, Deborah; Naigles, Letitia R.
Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) acquire a sizeable lexicon. However, these children also seem to understand and/or store the meanings of words differently from typically developing children. One of the mechanisms that helps typically developing children learn novel words is the shape bias, in which the referent of a noun is mapped onto the shape of an object, rather than onto its color, texture, or size. We hypothesized that children with Autistic Disorder would show reduce...
Bice, Kinsey; Kroll, Judith F
Research on proficient bilinguals has demonstrated that both languages are always active, even when only one is required. The coactivation of the two languages creates both competition and convergence, facilitating the processing of cognate words, but slowing lexical access when there is a requirement to engage control mechanisms to select the target language. Critically, these consequences are evident in the native language (L1) as well as in the second language (L2). The present study questioned whether L1 changes can be detected at early stages of L2 learning and how they are modulated by L2 proficiency. Native English speakers learning Spanish performed an English (L1) lexical decision task that included cognates while event-related potentials were recorded. They also performed verbal fluency, working memory, and inhibitory control tasks. A group of matched monolinguals performed the same tasks in English only. The results revealed that intermediate learners demonstrate a reduced N400 for cognates compared with noncognates in English (L1), and an emerging effect is visually present in beginning learners as well; however, no behavioral cognate effect was present for either group. In addition, slower reaction times in English (L1) are related to a larger cognate N400 magnitude in English (L1) and Spanish (L2), and to better inhibitory control for learners but not for monolinguals. The results suggest that contrary to the claim that L2 affects L1 only when L2 speakers are highly proficient, L2 learning begins to impact L1 early in the development of the L2 skill. PMID:26351964
Batterink, Laura; Neville, Helen J
Millions of adults worldwide are faced with the task of learning a second language (L2). Understanding the neural mechanisms that support this learning process is an important area of scientific inquiry. However, most previous studies on the neural mechanisms underlying L2 acquisition have focused on characterizing the results of learning, relying upon end-state outcome measures in which learning is assessed after it has occurred, rather than on the learning process itself. In this study, we adopted a novel and more direct approach to investigate neural mechanisms engaged during L2 learning, in which we recorded ERPs from beginning adult learners as they were exposed to an unfamiliar L2 for the first time. Learners' proficiency in the L2 was then assessed behaviorally using a grammaticality judgment task, and ERP data acquired during initial L2 exposure were sorted as a function of performance on this task. High-proficiency learners showed a larger N100 effect to open-class content words compared with closed-class function words, whereas low-proficiency learners did not show a significant N100 difference between open- and closed-class words. In contrast, amplitude of the N400 word category effect correlated with learners' L2 comprehension, rather than predicting syntactic learning. Taken together, these results indicate that learners who spontaneously direct greater attention to open- rather than closed-class words when processing L2 input show better syntactic learning, suggesting a link between selective attention to open-class content words and acquisition of basic morphosyntactic rules. These findings highlight the importance of selective attention mechanisms for L2 acquisition. PMID:24666165
Pereira, Alfredo F.; Smith, Linda B.; Yu, Chen
A head-camera was used to examine the visual correlates of object name learning by toddlers, as they played with novel objects, and as the parent spontaneously named those objects. The toddlers’ learning of the object names was tested after play and the visual properties of the head-camera images during naming events associated with learned and unlearned object names were analyzed. Naming events associated with learning had a clear visual signature, one in which the visual information itself ...
Bromley, Karen; Vandenberg, Amy; White, Jennifer
Building on the work of an earlier article ["The Word Writing CAFE: Assessing Student Writing for Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency," Dorothy J. Leal, "Reading Teacher," 59 (4) Dec 2005 (EJ738016)], these authors investigated the use of a simple assessment tool with a different audience to yield similar useful results. (Contains 3 figures and 4…
Robb, Michael B.; Richert, Rebekah A.; Wartella, Ellen A.
This study examined the relationship between viewing an infant DVD and expressive and receptive language outcomes. Children between 12 and 15 months were randomly assigned to view "Baby Wordsworth," a DVD highlighting words around the house marketed for children beginning at 12 months of age. Viewings took place in home settings over 6 weeks.…
Johnson, Elizabeth K.; Tyler, Michael D.
Past research has demonstrated that infants can rapidly extract syllable distribution information from an artificial language and use this knowledge to infer likely word boundaries in speech. However, artificial languages are extremely simplified with respect to natural language. In this study, we ask whether infants' ability to track transitional…
Clemens, Nathan H.; Shapiro, Edward S.; Thoemmes, Felix
This study investigated the accuracy of several early literacy measures that have been used in research and practice for first grade reading screening. A set of measures, Word Identification Fluency (WIF), Letter Naming Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, and Nonsense Word Fluency, were administered as screening measures with 138 first grade…
, the aesthetic component seems to have been of less concern to the church fathers. Only at the beginning of the sixth century did the topic of aesthetic value begin to figure in Christian writings. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite made some important observations on aesthetics in his description of the gnoseological function of symbolic images. He felt that visual symbols were the most appropriate instruments for learning about God Himself (who is beyond any definition or description that words can provide because they could at least evoke some idea of His divine nature. However, what was new in the evaluation of symbols in their gnoseological function was the idea that the beauty of these images stimulates the mind to strive to attain knowledge of the divine order that rules the universe. Visual communication and the visual arts thus cease to be regarded as mere aids to the verbal message—a sort of picture-book for the ignorant “who read in them what they cannot read in books”—and begin to be considered autonomous media that by far transcend their didactic religious function.
Full Text Available This paper investigates how utilizing diversity priors can discover early visual features thatresemble their biological counterparts. The study is mainly motivated by the sparsity andselectivity of activations of visual neurons in area V1. Most previous work on computationalmodeling emphasizes selectivity or sparsity independently. However, we argue that selectivityand sparsity are just two epiphenomena of the diversity of receptive fields, which has been rarelyexploited in learning. In this paper, to verify our hypothesis, restricted Boltzmann machines(RBMs are employed to learn early visual features by modeling the statistics of natural images.Considering RBMs as neural networks, the receptive fields of neurons are formed by the inter-weights between hidden and visible nodes. Due to the conditional independence in RBMs, thereis no mechanism to coordinate the activations of individual neurons or the whole population.A diversity prior is introduced in this paper for training RBMs. We find that the diversity priorindeed can assure simultaneously sparsity and selectivity of neuron activations. The learnedreceptive fields yield a high degree of biological similarity in comparison to physiological data.Also, corresponding visual features display a good generative capability in image reconstruction.
Van den Bosch, A; Bosch, Antal van den; Daelemans, Walter
Memory-based learning, keeping full memory of learning material, appears a viable approach to learning NLP tasks, and is often superior in generalisation accuracy to eager learning approaches that abstract from learning material. Here we investigate three partial memory-based learning approaches which remove from memory specific task instance types estimated to be exceptional. The three approaches each implement one heuristic function for estimating exceptionality of instance types: (i) typicality, (ii) class prediction strength, and (iii) friendly-neighbourhood size. Experiments are performed with the memory-based learning algorithm IB1-IG trained on English word pronunciation. We find that removing instance types with low prediction strength (ii) is the only tested method which does not seriously harm generalisation accuracy. We conclude that keeping full memory of types rather than tokens, and excluding minority ambiguities appear to be the only performance-preserving optimisations of memory-based learning...
Smeets, Daisy J H; van Dijken, Marianne J; Bus, Adriana G
Novel word learning is reported to be problematic for children with severe language impairments (SLI). In this study, we tested electronic storybooks as a tool to support vocabulary acquisition in SLI children. In Experiment 1, 29 kindergarten SLI children heard four e-books each four times: (a) two stories were presented as video books with motion pictures, music, and sounds, and (b) two stories included only static illustrations without music or sounds. Two other stories served as the control condition. Both static and video books were effective in increasing knowledge of unknown words, but static books were most effective. Experiment 2 was designed to examine which elements in video books interfere with word learning: video images or music or sounds. A total of 23 kindergarten SLI children heard 8 storybooks each four times: (a) two static stories without music or sounds, (b) two static stories with music or sounds, (c) two video stories without music or sounds, and (d) two video books with music or sounds. Video images and static illustrations were equally effective, but the presence of music or sounds moderated word learning. In children with severe SLI, background music interfered with learning. Problems with speech perception in noisy conditions may be an underlying factor of SLI and should be considered in selecting teaching aids and learning environments. PMID:23213051
Rowe, Meredith L.; Silverman, Rebecca D.; Mullan, Bridget E.
Previous research suggests that presenting redundant nonverbal semantic information in the form of gestures and/or pictures may aid word learning in first and foreign languages. But do nonverbal supports help all learners equally? We address this issue by examining the role of gestures and pictures as nonverbal supports for word learning in a…
Alt, Mary; Suddarth, Rachael
This study examines the phonological representations that children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and typically developing peers (TD) have during the initial process of word learning. The goals of this study were to determine if children with SLI attended to different components of words than peers, and whether they were more vulnerable to interference than peers. Forty 7- and 8-year-old children, half with SLI, took part in a fast mapping, word learning task. In addition to producin...
Mather, Emily; Plunkett, Kim
What mechanism implements the mutual exclusivity bias to map novel labels to objects without names? Prominent theoretical accounts of mutual exclusivity (e.g., Markman, 1989, 1990) propose that infants are guided by their knowledge of object names. However, the mutual exclusivity constraint could be implemented via monitoring of object novelty…
Bowers, J Michael; Kennison, Shelia M
The present research tested the hypothesis that the age at which one's first language (L1) words are learned influences language processing in bilinguals. Prior research on bilingual language processing by Kroll and colleagues has suggested that memory links between L1 words and conceptual representations are stronger than memory links between one's second language (L2) word and conceptual representations. We hypothesized that the strengths of memory links between L1 words and conceptual representations are stronger for words learned early in life than for words learned later in life. Support for the hypothesis was obtained in bilingual translation experiment with 36 Spanish-English bilinguals. Participants translated L1 words into L2 and L2 words into L1. Half of the L1 words were learned early in childhood (early AoA words), and half were learned later in life (late AoA words). The L2 words were translation equivalents of the L1 words tested; the average age at which L2 words were learned was age 7. Target words were presented either in random order or blocked by semantic category. Translation times were longer when trials were blocked by semantic category (i.e., categorical interference) occurred only when early AoA L1 words were translated into L2. Implications for current models of bilingual memory are discussed. PMID:21687967
Montag, Jessica L; Jones, Michael N; Smith, Linda B
Young children learn language from the speech they hear. Previous work suggests that greater statistical diversity of words and of linguistic contexts is associated with better language outcomes. One potential source of lexical diversity is the text of picture books that caregivers read aloud to children. Many parents begin reading to their children shortly after birth, so this is potentially an important source of linguistic input for many children. We constructed a corpus of 100 children's picture books and compared word type and token counts in that sample and a matched sample of child-directed speech. Overall, the picture books contained more unique word types than the child-directed speech. Further, individual picture books generally contained more unique word types than length-matched, child-directed conversations. The text of picture books may be an important source of vocabulary for young children, and these findings suggest a mechanism that underlies the language benefits associated with reading to children. PMID:26243292
Brown, Mark; Hughes, Helen; Keppell, Mike; Hard, Natasha; Smith, Liz
Many Open and Distance Learning (ODL) providers report that their students are prone to lower rates of retention and completion than campus-based students. Against this background, there is growing interest around distance-specific learning support. The current research investigated the experiences of students during their first semester as…
Melissa eAllen; Calum eHartley; Kate eCain
The use of the Apple iPad has skyrocketed in educational settings, along with largely unsubstantiated claims of its efficacy for learning and communication in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Here we examine whether children with ASD are better able to learn new word-referent relations using an iPad or a traditional picture book. We also examine the hypothesis that presenting multiple, differently-coloured, exemplars of a target referent will promote adaptive label generalisation...
Kingsdorf, Sheri; Krawec, Jennifer
Solving word problems is a common area of struggle for students with learning disabilities (LD). In order for instruction to be effective, we first need to have a clear understanding of the specific errors exhibited by students with LD during problem solving. Error analysis has proven to be an effective tool in other areas of math but has had…
Peake, Christian; Jiménez, Juan E.; Rodríguez, Cristina; Bisschop, Elaine; Villarroel, Rebeca
Arithmetic word problem (AWP) solving is a highly demanding task for children with learning disabilities (LD) since verbal and mathematical information have to be integrated. This study examines specifically how syntactic awareness (SA), the ability to manage the grammatical structures of language, affects AWP solving. Three groups of children in…
Fernandez, Thalia; Harmony, Thalia; Mendoza, Omar; Lopez-Alanis, Paula; Marroquin, Jose Luis; Otero, Gloria; Ricardo-Garcell, Josefina
Learning disabilities (LD) are one of the most frequent problems for elementary school-aged children. In this paper, event-related EEG oscillations to semantically related and unrelated pairs of words were studied in a group of 18 children with LD not otherwise specified (LD-NOS) and in 16 children with normal academic achievement. We propose that…
Fennell, Christopher T.; Byers-Heinlein, Krista; Werker, Janet F.
Despite the prevalence of bilingualism, language acquisition research has focused on monolingual infants. Monolinguals cannot learn minimally different words (e.g., "bih" and "dih") in a laboratory task until 17 months of age ( J. F. Werker, C. T. Fennell, K. M. Corcoran, & C. L. Stager, 2002). This study was extended to 14- to 20-month-old…
Zhang, Dongbo; Koda, Keiko; Leong, Che Kan
This longitudinal study examined the contribution of morphological awareness to bilingual word learning of Malay-English bilingual children in Singapore where English is the medium of instruction. Participants took morphological awareness and lexical inference tasks in both English and Malay twice with an interval of about half a year, the first…
Mosse, Emma K.; Jarrold, Christopher
Purpose: Three studies investigated novel word learning, some requiring phonological production, each involving between 11 and 17 individuals with Down syndrome, and between 15 and 24 typically developing individuals matched for receptive vocabulary. The effect of stimuli wordlikeness and incidental procedure-based memory demands were examined to…
Kirkorian, Heather L.; Choi, Koeun; Pempek, Tiffany A.
Researchers examined whether contingent experience using a touch screen increased toddlers' ability to learn a word from video. One hundred and sixteen children (24-36 months) watched an on-screen actress label an object: (a) without interacting, (b) with instructions to touch "anywhere" on the screen, or (c) with instructions to touch a…