This research was supported by National Institutes of Health HD 28730 to the second author and National Science Foundation BCS 0445871 to the first author. We are grateful to the infants and caretakers who participated in this study. We are also indebted to Irena Braun, Christy Call, and Marina Chernov for their assistance in developing stimuli and running subjects and to Tom Piccin for software design and analysis (Piccin, Braun, & Waxman, 2007).
A Horse of a Different Color: Specifying With Precision Infants’ Mappings of Novel Nouns and Adjectives
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s); Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 1, pages 15–22, January/February 2009
How to Cite
Booth, A. E. and Waxman, S. R. (2009), A Horse of a Different Color: Specifying With Precision Infants’ Mappings of Novel Nouns and Adjectives. Child Development, 80: 15–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01242.x
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2009
A precisely controlled automated procedure confirms a developmental decalage: Infants acquiring English link count nouns to object categories well before they link adjectives to properties. Fourteen- and 18-month-olds (n= 48 at each age) extended novel words presented as count nouns based on category membership rather than shared properties. When the same words were presented as adjectives, infants revealed no preference for either category- or property-based extensions. The convergence between performance in this automated procedure and in more interactive tasks is striking. Perhaps more importantly, the automated task provides a methodological foundation for (a) exploring the development of form–meaning links in infants acquiring languages other than English and (b) investigating the time course underlying infants’ mapping of novel words to meaning.