The Comprehension Boost in Early Word Learning: Older Infants Are Better Learners.
Journal Article (Journal Article)
Recent research has revealed that infants begin understanding words at around 6 months. After that, infants' comprehension vocabulary increases gradually in a linear way over 8-18 months, according to data from parental checklists. In contrast, infants' word comprehension improves robustly, qualitatively, and in a nonlinear way just after their first birthday, according to data from studies on spoken word comprehension. In this review, I integrate observational and experimental data to explain these divergent results. I argue that infants' comprehension boost is not well-explained by changes in their language input for common words, but rather by proposing that they learn to take better advantage of relatively stable input data. Next, I propose potentially complementary theoretical accounts of what makes older infants better learners. Finally, I suggest how the research community can expand our empirical base in this understudied area, and why doing so will inform our knowledge about child development.
- Bergelson, E
- September 2020
Volume / Issue
- 14 / 3
Start / End Page
- 142 - 149
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)