Symbol grounding and system construction in the color lexicon

AbstractThis research investigated the acquisition process of the color lexicon, specifically how color words are initially grounded and develop into the lexical system possessed by the adults in the ambient language. We conducted a longitudinal study in which Japanese-learning 2-year-olds were tested every month on their understanding of basic words denoting 8 chromatic colors, continuing until they were able to map these words onto their referents consistently. The results strongly endorse the view that acquisition of the color lexicon should be characterized as a process of system construction, through which children reorganize prelinguistic color categories onto the linguistic categories of the ambient language, thereby representations of individual words are continuously refined along with the refinement of the representation of the system as a whole.

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