Cognitive Science 34 (6):1017-1063 (2010)
Words are the essence of communication: They are the building blocks of any language. Learning the meaning of words is thus one of the most important aspects of language acquisition: Children must first learn words before they can combine them into complex utterances. Many theories have been developed to explain the impressive efficiency of young children in acquiring the vocabulary of their language, as well as the developmental patterns observed in the course of lexical acquisition. A major source of disagreement among the different theories is whether children are equipped with special mechanisms and biases for word learning, or their general cognitive abilities are adequate for the task. We present a novel computational model of early word learning to shed light on the mechanisms that might be at work in this process. The model learns word meanings as probabilistic associations between words and semantic elements, using an incremental and probabilistic learning mechanism, and drawing only on general cognitive abilities. The results presented here demonstrate that much about word meanings can be learned from naturally occurring child-directed utterances (paired with meaning representations), without using any special biases or constraints, and without any explicit developmental changes in the underlying learning mechanism. Furthermore, our model provides explanations for the occasionally contradictory child experimental data, and offers predictions for the behavior of young word learners in novel situations
|Keywords||Cross‐situational learning Child language acqusition Computational modeling Word learning|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
A Computational Study of Cross-Situational Techniques for Learning Word-to-Meaning Mappings.Jeffrey Mark Siskind - 1996 - Cognition 61 (1-2):39-91.
Distributional Regularity and Phonotactic Constraints Are Useful for Segmentation.Michael R. Brent & Timothy A. Cartwright - 1996 - Cognition 61 (1-2):93-125.
The Role of Exposure to Isolated Words in Early Vocabulary Development.Michael R. Brent & Jeffrey Mark Siskind - 2001 - Cognition 81 (2):B33-B44.
Citations of this work BETA
Retrieval Dynamics and Retention in Cross‐Situational Statistical Word Learning.Haley A. Vlach & Catherine M. Sandhofer - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (4):757-774.
Competitive Processes in Cross‐Situational Word Learning.Daniel Yurovsky, Chen Yu & Linda B. Smith - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (5):891-921.
The Unrealized Promise of Infant Statistical Word–Referent Learning.Linda B. Smith, Sumarga H. Suanda & Chen Yu - 2014 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18 (5):251-258.
2.5-Year-Olds Use Cross-Situational Consistency to Learn Verbs Under Referential Uncertainty.M. Scott Rose & Fisher Cynthia - 2012 - Cognition 122 (2):163-180.
The Influence of Bilingualism on Statistical Word Learning.Timothy J. Poepsel & Daniel J. Weiss - 2016 - Cognition 152:9-19.
Similar books and articles
Don't Preverbal Infants Map Words Onto Referents?Lakshmi J. Gogate - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1106-1107.
Exploring the Robustness of Cross-Situational Learning Under Zipfian Distributions.Paul Vogt - 2012 - Cognitive Science 36 (4):726-739.
Detailed Behavioral Analysis as a Window Into Cross-Situational Word Learning.Sumarga H. Suanda & Laura L. Namy - 2012 - Cognitive Science 36 (3):545-559.
Précis of How Children Learn the Meanings of Words.Paul Bloom - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1095-1103.
Controversies in the Study of Word Learning.Paul Bloom - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1124-1130.
Learning Colour Words is Slow: A Cross-Situational Learning Account.Paul Vogt & Andrew D. M. Smith - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):509-510.
Cross-Situational and Supervised Learning in the Emergence of Communication.Jose Fernando Fontanari & Angelo Cangelosi - 2011 - Interaction Studies 12 (1):119-133.
Using Variability to Guide Dimensional Weighting: Associative Mechanisms in Early Word Learning.Keith S. Apfelbaum & Bob McMurray - 2011 - Cognitive Science 35 (6):1105-1138.
Cross-Situational Learning: An Experimental Study of Word-Learning Mechanisms.Kenny Smith, Andrew D. M. Smith & Richard A. Blythe - 2011 - Cognitive Science 35 (3):480-498.
Added to index2010-08-11
Total downloads29 ( #173,202 of 2,154,092 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #398,005 of 2,154,092 )
How can I increase my downloads?