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Gavagai is as Gavagai does: learning nouns and verbs from cross-situational statistics

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Cognitive Science
Issue number5
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1099-1112
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/10/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Learning to map words onto their referents is difficult, because there are multiple possibilities for forming these mappings. Cross-situational learning studies have shown that word-object mappings can be learned across multiple situations, as can verbs when presented in a syntactic context. However, these previous studies have presented either nouns or verbs in ambiguous contexts and thus bypass much of the complexity of multiple grammatical categories in speech. We show that noun word learning in adults is robust when objects are moving, and that verbs can also be learned from similar scenes without additional syntactic information. Furthermore, we show that both nouns and verbs can be acquired simultaneously, thus resolving category-level as well as individual word-level ambiguity. However, nouns were learned more quickly than verbs, and we discuss this in light of previous studies investigating the noun advantage in word learning.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Monaghan, P., Mattock, K., Davies, R. A. I. and Smith, A. C. (2015), Gavagai Is as Gavagai Does: Learning Nouns and Verbs From Cross-Situational Statistics. Cognitive Science, 39: 1099–1112. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12186 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cogs.12186/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.