|Abstract||Because human languages vary in sound and meaning, children must learn which distinctions their language uses. For speech perception, this learning is selective: initially infants are sensitive to most acoustic distinctions used in any language1–3, and this sensitivity reﬂects basic properties of the auditory system rather than mechanisms speciﬁc to language4–7; however, infants’ sensitivity to non-native sound distinctions declines over the course of the ﬁrst year8. Here we ask whether a similar process governs learning of word meanings. We investigated the sensitivity of 5-month-old infants in an English-speaking environment to a conceptual distinction that is marked in Korean but not English; that is, the distinction between ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ ﬁt of one object to another9,10. Like adult Korean speakers but unlike adult English speakers, these infants detected this distinction and divided a continuum of motion-into-contact actions into tightand loose-ﬁt categories. Infants’ sensitivity to this distinction is linked to representations of object mechanics11that are shared by non-human animals12–14. Language learning therefore seems to develop by linking linguistic forms to universal, pre-existing representations of sound and meaning. Our research focuses on the crosscutting conceptual distinctions between actions producing loose- and tight-ﬁtting contact relationships (compare left and right columns in Fig. 1a) and actions producing containment versus support relationships (compare ﬁrst and second rows in Fig. 1a). As early as Korean and English children begin to talk about such actions, they categorize them differently from one another and similarly to Korean- and Englishspeaking adults9,15. Moreover, English and Korean adults differ in their performance on non-linguistic categorization tasks involving heterogeneous examples of these actions, in accord with the differing semantics of their languages16,17, whereas the performance of young children on such tasks has been mixed9,10,18,19..|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Soonja Choi & Kate Hattrup (2012). Relative Contribution of Perception/Cognition and Language on Spatial Categorization. Cognitive Science 36 (1):102-129.
B. Elsner & G. Aschersleben (2003). Do I Get What You Get? Learning About the Effects of Self-Performed and Observed Actions in Infancy. Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):732-751.
Katerina Kantartzis, Mutsumi Imai & Sotaro Kita (2011). Japanese Sound-Symbolism Facilitates Word Learning in English-Speaking Children. Cognitive Science 35 (3):575-586.
Erik D. Thiessen (2010). Effects of Visual Information on Adults' and Infants' Auditory Statistical Learning. Cognitive Science 34 (6):1093-1106.
Soonja Choi & Melissa Bowerman (1992). Learning to Express Motion Events in English and Korean : The Influence of Language Specific Lexicalization Patterns. In Beth Levin & Steven Pinker (eds.), Lexical & Conceptual Semantics. Blackwell.
Jaehoon Yeon & Jieun Kiaer (eds.) (2010). Selected Papers From the 2nd European Conference on Korean Linguistics. Lincom Europa.
In Kyeong Kim & Elizabeth S. Spelke, Infants' Sensitivity to Effects of Gravity on Visible Object Motion.
Amanda L. Woodward (2005). Infants' Understanding of the Actions Involved in Joint Attention. In Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press.
Andrew Martin, Sharon Peperkamp & Emmanuel Dupoux (2013). Learning Phonemes With a Proto-Lexicon. Cognitive Science 37 (1):103-124.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads13 ( #95,467 of 722,771 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,247 of 722,771 )
How can I increase my downloads?