Words, Objects, and Actions in Early Lexical Acquisition The influences of referent type (Objects vs. Actions) and within-category referent relationships (functionally similar vs. perceptually similar) upon children's acquisition of lexical concepts were examined. Twelve children aged 12 ½–15 ½ months at the outset served as subjects. During 10 experimental sessions over a period of 3–4 months the children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1984
Words, Objects, and Actions in Early Lexical Acquisition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard G. Schwartz
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Laurence B. Leonard
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1984
Words, Objects, and Actions in Early Lexical Acquisition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1984, Vol. 27, 119-127. doi:10.1044/jshr.2701.119
History: Received January 12, 1983 , Accepted July 14, 1983
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1984, Vol. 27, 119-127. doi:10.1044/jshr.2701.119
History: Received January 12, 1983; Accepted July 14, 1983

The influences of referent type (Objects vs. Actions) and within-category referent relationships (functionally similar vs. perceptually similar) upon children's acquisition of lexical concepts were examined. Twelve children aged 12 ½–15 ½ months at the outset served as subjects. During 10 experimental sessions over a period of 3–4 months the children were presented with 16 contrived lexical concepts. Each concept consisted of a nonsense word and four objects or four actions which served as the referents for that word. The children acquired object words and concepts in greater numbers than action words and concepts, suggestive of differences in the underlying complexity or structure of object and action concepts. The lack of significant differences in the acquisition of perceptually based and functionally based concepts suggests that children at this point in development may base lexical concepts on perceptual or functional attributes.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access