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  • kalashnikova_mattock_monaghan_16_firstlanguage_man

    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, First Language, 36 (5), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the First Language page: http://fla.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/

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Mutual exclusivity develops as a consequence of abstract rather than particular vocabulary knowledge

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>First Language
Issue number5
Volume36
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)451-464
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/05/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Mutual exclusivity (ME) refers to the assumption that there are one-to-one relations between linguistic forms and their meanings. It is used as a word-learning strategy whereby children tend to map novel labels to unfamiliar rather than familiar referents. Previous research has indicated a relation between ME and vocabulary development, which could either be due to children's developing knowledge of the labels for familiar objects, or to enhanced general word-learning skills. In this study, ME was related to receptive vocabulary for 17- to 19-month-old children in a novel paradigm where children's familiarity with the objects and labels was controlled. It was found that infants with larger receptive vocabularies employed ME to a greater extent than infants with a smaller vocabulary size. The results indicate that ME use is more reliable in infants with larger receptive vocabulary size, and, critically, that ME gradually consolidates as an abstract word-learning strategy as infants' linguistic experience increases.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, First Language, 36 (5), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the First Language page: http://fla.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/