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Do acting out verbs with dolls and comparison learning between scenes boost toddlers’ verb comprehension?*

  • AMY LOUISE SCHWARZ (a1), ANNE VAN KLEECK (a2), MANDY J. MAGUIRE (a2) and HERVÉ ABDI (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

To better understand how toddlers integrate multiple learning strategies to acquire verbs, we compared sensorimotor recruitment and comparison learning because both strategies are thought to boost children's access to scene-level information. For sensorimotor recruitment, we tested having toddlers use dolls as agents and compared this strategy with having toddlers observe another person enact verbs with dolls. For comparison learning, we compared providing pairs of: (a) training scenes in which animate objects with similar body-shapes maintained agent/patient roles with (b) scenes in which objects with dissimilar body-shapes switched agent/patient roles. Only comparison learning boosted verb comprehension.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Amy Louise Schwarz, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Disorders, Texas State University, Health Professions Building, Room 169, San Marcos, Texas 78666; e-mail: als217@txstate.edu.
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This research was supported by a New Century Doctoral Scholarship awarded to the first author by the American Speech Language and Hearing Foundation. We give special thanks to Dr Christine Dollaghan, Dr Janie Childers, and Dr Raúl Rojas for their suggestions on this project's design. Hervé Abdi would like to acknowledge the support of an EURIAS fellowship at the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies (France), with the support of the European Union's 7th Framework Program for research, and from funding from the French state managed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (program: Investissements d'Avenir, ANR-11-LABX-0027- 01 Labex RFIEA+).

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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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