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COMPARISON OF SHAPE BIAS VERSUS WORLD KNOWLEDGE IN THREE AND FIVE-YEAR OLD CHILDREN'S ACQUISITION OF A NOVEL NOUN

by RODDY, TRICIA LYNN

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to determine if perceptual or taxonomical information provided in a story influences children's choices in a novel word-learning task. The study separately examined three and five-year old children's classification of a novel noun when presented with a choice of either a perceptually related object or a taxonomically related object. The first task of the classification task included the presentation of a line drawing of an object, in which the researcher orally labeled the object with a novel word ("koob" or "doop"). The children were shown a set of three pictures and asked to choose the other "koob/doop". In the second task, the children chose the named object (koob/doop) from a set of three pictures after hearing a story about the novel word. Results for three-year olds revealed that when they were shown the picture first, they chose the perceptually related object (from a choice of three pictures) significantly more often than the taxonomically related object. While four out of five children chose the taxonomically related picture when told the story first, there was no significant difference in the picture choices. The children did not choose the perceptually related picture more often when the story was presented first. The five-year old results revealed there was no significant difference in the picture choices when the picture was presented first. However, there was a significant difference in the picture choices when the story was told first. Five-year olds chose the taxonomically related object more often after hearing taxonomic information about the novel noun. Subjects in both age groups did not change picture choices from one task to another.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:shape bias world knowledge noun acquisition taxonomic shift

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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