Vocabulary Size (vocabulary + size)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


The Effect of Vocabulary Size on Toddlers' Receptiveness to Unexpected Testimony About Category Membership

INFANCY, Issue 2 2007
Vikram K. Jaswal
Children must be willing to accept some of what they hear "on faith," even when that testimony conflicts with their own expectations. The study reported here investigated the relation among vocabulary size, object recognition, and 24-month-olds' (N = 40) willingness to accept potentially surprising testimony about the category to which an object belongs. Results showed that children with larger vocabularies were better able to recognize atypical exemplars of familiar categories than children with smaller vocabularies. However, they were also most likely to accept unexpected testimony that an object that looked like a member of one familiar category was actually a member of another. These results indicate that 24-month-olds trust classifications provided by adult labeling patterns even when they conflict with the classifications children generate on their own. [source]


Monolingual, bilingual, trilingual: infants' language experience influences the development of a word-learning heuristic

DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, Issue 5 2009
Krista Byers-Heinlein
How infants learn new words is a fundamental puzzle in language acquisition. To guide their word learning, infants exploit systematic word-learning heuristics that allow them to link new words to likely referents. By 17 months, infants show a tendency to associate a novel noun with a novel object rather than a familiar one, a heuristic known as disambiguation. Yet, the developmental origins of this heuristic remain unknown. We compared disambiguation in 17- to 18-month-old infants from different language backgrounds to determine whether language experience influences its development, or whether disambiguation instead emerges as a result of maturation or social experience. Monolinguals showed strong use of disambiguation, bilinguals showed marginal use, and trilinguals showed no disambiguation. The number of languages being learned, but not vocabulary size, predicted performance. The results point to a key role for language experience in the development of disambiguation, and help to distinguish among theoretical accounts of its emergence. [source]


Toddlers can adaptively change how they categorize: same objects, same session, two different categorical distinctions

DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, Issue 1 2009
Jessica S. Horst
Two experiments demonstrate that 14- to 18-month-old toddlers can adaptively change how they categorize a set of objects within a single session, and that this ability is related to vocabulary size. In both experiments, toddlers were presented with a sequential touching task with objects that could be categorized either according to some perceptually salient dimension corresponding to a taxonomic distinction (e.g. animals vs. vehicles) or to some less obvious dimension (e.g. rigid vs. deformable). In each experiment, children with larger productive vocabularies responded to both dimensions, showing evidence of sensitivity to each way of categorizing the items. Children with smaller productive vocabularies attended only to the taxonomically related categorical grouping. These experiments confirm that toddlers can adaptively shift the basis of their categorization and highlight the dynamic interaction between the child and the current task in early categorization. [source]


Language Experience Shapes the Development of the Mutual Exclusivity Bias

INFANCY, Issue 2 2010
Carmel Houston-Price
Halberda (2003) demonstrated that 17-month-old infants, but not 14- or 16-month-olds, use a strategy known as mutual exclusivity (ME) to identify the meanings of new words. When 17-month-olds were presented with a novel word in an intermodal preferential looking task, they preferentially fixated a novel object over an object for which they already had a name. We explored whether the development of this word-learning strategy is driven by children's experience of hearing only one name for each referent in their environment by comparing the behavior of infants from monolingual and bilingual homes. Monolingual infants aged 17,22 months showed clear evidence of using an ME strategy, in that they preferentially fixated the novel object when they were asked to "look at the dax." Bilingual infants of the same age and vocabulary size failed to show a similar pattern of behavior. We suggest that children who are raised with more than one language fail to develop an ME strategy in parallel with monolingual infants because development of the bias is a consequence of the monolingual child's everyday experiences with words. [source]


The Effect of Vocabulary Size on Toddlers' Receptiveness to Unexpected Testimony About Category Membership

INFANCY, Issue 2 2007
Vikram K. Jaswal
Children must be willing to accept some of what they hear "on faith," even when that testimony conflicts with their own expectations. The study reported here investigated the relation among vocabulary size, object recognition, and 24-month-olds' (N = 40) willingness to accept potentially surprising testimony about the category to which an object belongs. Results showed that children with larger vocabularies were better able to recognize atypical exemplars of familiar categories than children with smaller vocabularies. However, they were also most likely to accept unexpected testimony that an object that looked like a member of one familiar category was actually a member of another. These results indicate that 24-month-olds trust classifications provided by adult labeling patterns even when they conflict with the classifications children generate on their own. [source]


The frequency spectrum of finite samples from the intermittent silence process

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho
It has been argued that the actual distribution of word frequencies could be reproduced or explained by generating a random sequence of letters and spaces according to the so-called intermittent silence process. The same kind of process could reproduce or explain the counts of other kinds of units from a wide range of disciplines. Taking the linguistic metaphor, we focus on the frequency spectrum, i.e., the number of words with a certain frequency, and the vocabulary size, i.e., the number of different words of text generated by an intermittent silence process. We derive and explain how to calculate accurately and efficiently the expected frequency spectrum and the expected vocabulary size as a function of the text size. [source]


Testing Vocabulary Knowledge: Size, Strength, and Computer Adaptiveness

LANGUAGE LEARNING, Issue 3 2004
Batia Laufer
In this article, we describe the development and trial of a bilingual computerized test of vocabulary size, the number of words the learner knows, and strength, a combination of four aspects of knowledge of meaning that are assumed to constitute a hierarchy of difficulty: passive recognition (easiest), active recognition, passive recall, and active recall (hardest). The participants were 435 learners of English as a second language. We investigated whether the above hierarchy was valid and which strength modality correlated best with classroom language performance. Results showed that the hypothesized hierarchy was present at all word frequency levels, that passive recall was the best predictor of classroom language performance, and that growth in vocabulary knowledge was different for the different strength modalities. [source]


Investigating the Relationship Between Vocabulary Knowledge and Academic Reading Performance: An Assessment Perspective

LANGUAGE LEARNING, Issue 3 2002
David D. Qian
The present study was conducted in the context of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 2000 research to conceptually validate the roles of breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension in academic settings and to empirically evaluate a test measuring three elements of the depth dimension of vocabulary knowledge, namely, synonymy, polysemy, and collocation. A vocabulary size measure and a TOEFL vocabulary measure were also tested. The study found that the dimension of vocabulary depth is as important as that of vocabulary size in predicting performance on academic reading and that scores on the three vocabulary measures tested are similarly useful in predicting performance on the reading comprehension measure used as the criterion. The study confirms the importance of the vocabulary factor in reading assessment. [source]


Do children with autism spectrum disorders show a shape bias in word learning?

AUTISM RESEARCH, Issue 4 2008
Saime Tek
Abstract 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 reduced or absent shape bias. Using the intermodal preferential looking paradigm , we compared the performance of young children with ASD and typically developing children (TYP), across four time points, in their use of shape bias. Neither group showed a shape bias at Visit 1, when half of the children in both groups produced fewer than 50 count nouns. Only the TYP group showed a shape bias at Visits 2, 3, and 4. According to the growth curve analyses, the rate of increase in the shape bias scores over time was significant for the TYP children. The fact that the TYP group showed a shape bias at 24 months of age, whereas children with ASD did not demonstrate a shape bias despite a sizeable vocabulary, supports a dissociation between vocabulary size and principles governing acquisition in ASD children from early in language development. [source]