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Slater & Lewis: Introduction to Infant Development

Key concepts

Inevitably, and perhaps unlike other chapters, we have to introduce a lot of new terminology in chapter 10. To help the reader, here is a list of key concepts which will help you to navigate through the chapter more easily.

Categorical induction:
Using known words to guess how new ones might be extended to a whole category.

Categorical perception:
Hearing some sound differences as identical if they come from the same phonemic category.

Inferences about how new words might work.

Knowledge of the rules of combining words (syntax) and creating word forms (morphology).

High amplitude sucking procedure:
Using sucking as a way to test for infants’ noticing sound differences.

Intermodal preferential looking procedure:
Using looking as a way to test infants knowing the meaning of a word.

Lexical Contrast/Mutual Exclusivity:
Assuming one word per object. This lead to knowledge that a new word must refer to an object that does not yet have a name.

Knowledge of different forms of words (eg. word endings).

Multimodal perception:
Linking across different perceptual systems (e.g. linking sight with sound.

Perceptual assimilation model:
Believes learning contrast is dependent on how sounds are categorized by the native language.

Perceptual magnet effect:
Tendency to hear sounds categorically.

Phonemic contrasts:
The subtle sound difference between similar words.

Study of the speech sounds and relationships among speech sounds that form the smallest units of language.

Study of language use in practice

The melody and rhythms of language.

Reduplicative babbling:
Repeating the same sounds over and over.

Referential intent:
Ability to induce what a person is labeling through eye gaze and other social acts.

Finding words or other important units in the fluent stream of speech.

Study of word meanings and their use.

Statistical learning:
Using the regularities in speech to make inferences about possible words.

Syntactic bootstrapping:
Using syntax to figure out the meaning of new words.

Knowledge of how words and phrases can be combined.

Transitional probabilities:
The likelihood that one syllable will follow another.

Variegated babbling:
Vocal productions characterized by strings of varying syllables (e.g., ‘bagoo’).

"Whole Object" bias:
Bias to attach labels to wholes over parts or actions.