Disambiguation of novel labels and referential facts: A developmental perspective

Kalashnikova, Marina and Mattock, Karen and Monaghan, Padraic (2014) Disambiguation of novel labels and referential facts: A developmental perspective. First Language, 34 (2). pp. 125-135. ISSN 0142-7237

Full text not available from this repository.


Disambiguation refers to children's tendency to assign novel labels to unfamiliar rather than familiar referents. It is employed as a word-learning strategy, but it remains unknown whether it is a domain-specific phenomenon or a manifestation of more general pragmatic competence. To assess the domain-specificity and development of disambiguation, this study tested children from two age groups (ages 3;7-4;6 and 4;7-5;7) and adults on a disambiguation of novel labels and referential facts paradigm. A linear contrast analysis showed that the difference between disambiguation from labels and disambiguation from facts increased significantly as the participants' age increased. The results indicate that at the early stages of word learning, children reason by exclusion to disambiguate the meaning of a variety of referential actions, but with increasing understanding about the communicative process, this inferential reasoning develops into a strategy limited to lexical acquisition.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
First Language
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 Jul 2014 13:44
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 00:56