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  1. Sound to meaning correspondences facilitate word learning.Lynne C. Nygaard, Allison E. Cook & Laura L. Namy - 2009 - Cognition 112 (1):181-186.
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    The Semantics of Prosody: Acoustic and Perceptual Evidence of Prosodic Correlates to Word Meaning.Lynne C. Nygaard, Debora S. Herold & Laura L. Namy - 2009 - Cognitive Science 33 (1):127-146.
    This investigation examined whether speakers produce reliable prosodic correlates to meaning across semantic domains and whether listeners use these cues to derive word meaning from novel words. Speakers were asked to produce phrases in infant‐directed speech in which novel words were used to convey one of two meanings from a set of antonym pairs (e.g., big/small). Acoustic analyses revealed that some acoustic features were correlated with overall valence of the meaning. However, each word meaning also displayed a unique acoustic signature, (...)
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    Detailed Behavioral Analysis as a Window Into Cross-Situational Word Learning.Sumarga H. Suanda & Laura L. Namy - 2012 - Cognitive Science 36 (3):545-559.
    Recent research has demonstrated that word learners can determine word-referent mappings by tracking co-occurrences across multiple ambiguous naming events. The current study addresses the mechanisms underlying this capacity to learn words cross-situationally. This replication and extension of Yu and Smith (2007) investigates the factors influencing both successful cross-situational word learning and mis-mappings. Item analysis and error patterns revealed that the co-occurrence structure of the learning environment as well as the context of the testing environment jointly affected learning across observations. Learners (...)
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    The Specificity of Sound Symbolic Correspondences in Spoken Language.Christina Y. Tzeng, Lynne C. Nygaard & Laura L. Namy - 2017 - Cognitive Science:2191-2220.
    Although language has long been regarded as a primarily arbitrary system, sound symbolism, or non-arbitrary correspondences between the sound of a word and its meaning, also exists in natural language. Previous research suggests that listeners are sensitive to sound symbolism. However, little is known about the specificity of these mappings. This study investigated whether sound symbolic properties correspond to specific meanings, or whether these properties generalize across semantic dimensions. In three experiments, native English-speaking adults heard sound symbolic foreign words for (...)
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    Perceptual-motor constraints on sound-to-meaning correspondence in language.Laura L. Namy & Lynne C. Nygaard - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):528-529.
    The proposal that language has evolved to conform to general cognitive and learning constraints inherent in the human brain calls for specification of these mechanisms. We propose that just as cognition appears to be grounded in cross-modal perceptual-motor capabilities, so too must language. Evidence for perceptual-motor grounding comes from non-arbitrary sound-to-meaning correspondences and their role in word learning.
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    Communicative Context Affects Use of Referential Prosody.Christina Y. Tzeng, Laura L. Namy & Lynne C. Nygaard - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (11):e12799.
    The current study assessed the extent to which the use of referential prosody varies with communicative demand. Speaker–listener dyads completed a referential communication task during which speakers attempted to indicate one of two color swatches (one bright, one dark) to listeners. Speakers' bright sentences were reliably higher pitched than dark sentences for ambiguous (e.g., bright red versus dark red) but not unambiguous (e.g., bright red versus dark purple) trials, suggesting that speakers produced meaningful acoustic cues to brightness when the accompanying (...)
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