Using statistics to learn words and grammatical categories:how high frequency words assist language acquisition

Frost, Rebecca Louise Ann and Monaghan, Padraic John and Christiansen, Morten H. (2016) Using statistics to learn words and grammatical categories:how high frequency words assist language acquisition. In: 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2013-09-112014-09-13, Philadelphia.

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Abstract

Recent studies suggest that high-frequency words may benefit speech segmentation (Bortfeld, Morgan, Golinkoff, & Rathbun, 2005) and grammatical categorisation (Monaghan, Christiansen, & Chater, 2007). To date, these tasks have been examined separately, but not together. We familiarised adults with continuous speech comprising repetitions of target words, and compared learning to a language in which targets appeared alongside high-frequency marker words. Marker words reliably preceded targets, and distinguished them into two otherwise unidentifiable categories. Participants completed a 2AFC segmentation test, and a similarity judgement categorisation test. We tested transfer to a wordpicture mapping task, where words from each category were used either consistently or inconsistently to label actions/objects. Participants segmented the speech successfully, but only demonstrated effective categorisation when speech contained high-frequency marker words. The advantage of marker words extended to the early stages of the transfer task. Findings indicate the same high-frequency words may assist speech segmentation and grammatical categorisation

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title:
38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
ID Code:
81493
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
14 Sep 2016 14:16
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
12 Mar 2020 01:52