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

Kalashnikova, Marina and Mattock, Karen and Monaghan, Padraic (2016) Mutual exclusivity develops as a consequence of abstract rather than particular vocabulary knowledge. First Language, 36 (5). pp. 451-464. ISSN 0142-7237

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
First Language
Additional Information:
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: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? fast mappinglexical acquisitionmutual exclusivityreferent selectionvocabularyword learningsimilar-sounding wordsreferent selectionbilingual infantsphonetic detaildisambiguationobjectchildrenlanguagerecognitionconstraintseducationlinguistics and languagela ??
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Deposited On:
16 Nov 2016 11:44
Last Modified:
03 Jan 2024 00:20