Semantic Development:
Learning the meaning of words

Week 4

SPH 229

Prof. Amee Shah

Before words:

As words develop

The relations between words and their referents

What are WORDS?

Early words

Mental Images

How do children acquire meaning?

How do children acquire meaning?

    Two ways children may possibly be forming these categorical concepts:

  1. Semantic Feature view: set of distinguishing features (First, one object=one label, thus "Bingo" may be "dog", but later learn that other creatures are dogs too--as long as they share a critical set of features). Children form these categories by weighting the features to include any given word in that category--thus barking is   weighted more than four-leggedness
  2. Prototype theory:

Some other meaning-related points...

The theories of how meanings are acquired



Lexical Principles of Fast-mapping:Assumptions that children may work on during fast mapping

Lexical Principles of Fast-mapping: (contd...)

Study of vocabularies

Early word vocabulary

Early words...contd.

Table 4.1: Examples of Early vocabulary (under 20 months)

Unconventional words and Errors

Invented words

Comprehension and Production of meanings

How do adults influence children's meaning development

Adults' role....contd.

Adults' role...contd.

Other concepts