Infants Can Learn Decontextualized Words Before Their First Birthday
Schafer, G. (2005) Infants Can Learn Decontextualized Words Before Their First Birthday. Child Development, 76 (1). pp. 87-96. ISSN 0009-3920
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00831.x
Can infants below age 1 year learn words in one context and understand them in another? To investigate this question, two groups of parents trained infants from age 9 months on 8 categories of common objects. A control group received no training. At 12 months, infants in the experimental groups, but not in the control group, showed comprehension of the words in a new context. It appears that infants under 1 year old can learn words in a decontextualized, as distinct from a context-bound, fashion. Perceptual variability within the to-be-learned categories, and the perceptual similarity between training sets and the novel test items, did not appear to affect this learning.