Acquiring Word Learning Biases


Previous research has shown that infants can acquire a “shape bias” in word learning when presented with labels that are perfectly correlated with object shape. However, little research examines whether children can acquire a non-shape word learning bias. Research on inducing this bias can help inform the origins of the shape bias. In our experiment, 3 year-old children successfully acquired a new bias even with relatively few objects and a short training session, illustrating the relevance of the overhypothesis formation account in explaining the acquisition of early inductive constraints.

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