This work was supported by funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and from the Canada Research Chairs Program (Graham), and by an operating grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Graham, Chambers). Berman was supported by a graduate fellowship from SSHRC and Callaway was supported by a summer studentship from NSERC. We thank Heather MacKenzie, Melanie Khu, Chelsea Humphry, Stepanie Archer, and Michelle Zepeda for their assistance with this research as well as the parents and children who participated. Some of the data presented in Experiment 2 were included in J. Berman's dissertation, submitted to the University of Calgary.
Preschoolers Use Emotion in Speech to Learn New Words
Version of Record online: 25 FEB 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 84, Issue 5, pages 1791–1805, September/October 2013
How to Cite
Berman, J. M. J., Graham, S. A., Callaway, D. and Chambers, C. G. (2013), Preschoolers Use Emotion in Speech to Learn New Words. Child Development, 84: 1791–1805. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12074
- Issue online: 3 SEP 2013
- Version of Record online: 25 FEB 2013
- Canada Foundation for Innovation
- Canada Research Chairs Program
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Two experiments examined 4- and 5-year-olds' use of vocal affect to learn new words. In Experiment 1 (n = 48), children were presented with two unfamiliar objects, first in their original state and then in an altered state (broken or enhanced). An instruction produced with negative, neutral, or positive affect, directed children to find the referent of a novel word. During the novel noun, eye gaze measures indicated that both 4- and 5-year-olds were more likely to consider an object congruent with vocal affect cues. In Experiment 2, 5-year-olds (n = 15) were asked to extend and generalize their initial mapping to new exemplars. Here, 5-year-olds generalized these newly mapped labels but only when presented with negative vocal affect.