Learning New Words II Phonotactic Probability in Verb Learning Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2003
Learning New Words II
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Holly L. Storkel
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Contact author: Holly Storkel, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, University of Kansas, 3001 Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045-7555. E-mail: hstorkel@ku.edu
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2003
Learning New Words II
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2003, Vol. 46, 1312-1323. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/102)
History: Received January 3, 2003 , Accepted May 6, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2003, Vol. 46, 1312-1323. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/102)
History: Received January 3, 2003; Accepted May 6, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 74

Phonotactic probability, a measure of the likelihood of occurrence of a sound sequence, appears to facilitate noun learning (H. L. Storkel, 2001). Nouns and verbs, however, tend to differ in rate of acquisition, indicating that word-learning mechanisms may differ across grammatical class. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of phonotactic probability on verb learning. Thirty-four typically developing preschool children participated in a multitrial word-learning task involving nonwords varying in phonotactic probability paired with unfamiliar actions. Multiple measures of word learning were obtained at increasing numbers of exposures. Correct responses were analyzed to examine rate of word learning. Results paralleled those of the previous noun-learning study, with common sound sequences being learned more rapidly than rare sound sequences. The results are interpreted in relation to the effect of distributional regularities on acquisition and the reported discrepancy between noun and verb learning in English.

Acknowledgments
The initial portion of this work was conducted at Indiana University. The National Institutes of Health, through Grants DC04781, DC01694, and DC00012, supported this work. The following individuals contributed to stimulus preparation, data collection, data entry, and reliability: Aaron Brown, Dana Lazar, Rebecca DeLong, Mariam Syeda, and Kelli Stanfield. Judith Gierut provided comments regarding study design and publication. Michael Vitevitch aided in the computation of the phonotactic probabilities and provided comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. These contributions are greatly appreciated.
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