We are grateful to the children and parents of the Akron area for their participation. The assistance of Jean Borbely, Kim Francesangelo, Brandy Maistros, John Marazita, Brenda Riccio, Jennifer Sezna, and Colleen Stevenson in testing participants is greatly appreciated. We thank Jill Folk and Dan Levin for helpful comments on the manuscript. “In all ways acknowledge Him …” (Proverbs 3:6).
The Nominal Passover Effect Depends on Addressee Age, Speaker Goal, and Object Similarity
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
Volume 76, Issue 6, pages 1185–1201, November 2005
How to Cite
Merriman, W. E. and Evey, J. A. (2005), The Nominal Passover Effect Depends on Addressee Age, Speaker Goal, and Object Similarity. Child Development, 76: 1185–1201. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00843.x-i1
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
If after teaching a label for 1 object, a speaker does not name a nearby object, 3-year-olds tend to reject the label for the nearby object (W.E. Merriman, J.M. Marazita, L.H. Jarvis, J.A. Evey-Burkey, and M. Biggins, 1995a). In Studies 1 (5-year-olds) and 3 (3-year-olds), this effect depended on object similarity. In Study 2, when a speaker used a label without teaching it, 5-year-olds showed no passover effect. 3-year-olds showed none for inanimate objects, but one for animate objects. When extraneous factors that may have promoted animate object individuation were eliminated (Study 3), 3-year-olds showed the effect when a label was taught, but not when it was merely used. Children honor rational restrictions on when the unacceptability of a name can be inferred from its nonoccurrence.