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Publications [#288228] of Makeba P. Wilbourn

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Journal Articles

  1. Casasola, M; Wilbourn, MP; Yang, S (2006). Can English-learning toddlers acquire and generalize a novel spatial word?. First Language, 26(2), 187-205. [doi]
    (last updated on 2021/04/15)

    English-learning toddlers of 21 and 22 months were taught a novel spatial word for four actions resulting in a tight-fit spatial relation, a relation that is lexically marked in Korean but not English (Choi & Bowerman, 1991). Toddlers in a control condition viewed the same tight-fit action events without the novel word. Toddlers' comprehension of the novel word was tested in a preferential-looking paradigm. Across four videotaped pairs of action events, a tight-fit event was paired with a loose-fit event. Only toddlers who were taught the novel spatial word looked significantly longer at the tight-fit events during the test trials that presented the novel word than during control trials that presented neutral linguistic stimuli. The results indicate that toddlers can map and generalize a novel word onto actions resulting in a tight-fit relation, given limited experience with the novel word. The results provide insight into how young word learners begin to form language-specific semantic spatial categories. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.

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