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Action Meets WordHow children learn verbs$
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Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta M. Golinkoff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Are Nouns Easier to Learn Than Verbs? Three Experimental Studies

Are Nouns Easier to Learn Than Verbs? Three Experimental Studies

(p.311) 12 Are Nouns Easier to Learn Than Verbs? Three Experimental Studies
Action Meets Word

Jane B. Childers

Michael Tomasello

Oxford University Press

A current controversy in the study of word learning is whether it is conceptually easier to learn nouns as compared to verbs early in development. This chapter describes three experiments which address the noun-verb question in different ways. In the first experiment, researchers asked how many times (and on how many days) does a 2-year-old need to hear a word to be able to learn it, and does this differ for nouns and verbs? This second study investigates whether — when nouns and verbs are presented in comparable sentence contexts, controlling the number of exposures, and presenting a dynamic event in both the noun and verb conditions — nouns are easier to learn than are verbs. In Study 3, researchers compared children's ability to learn intransitive and transitive verbs and their ability to understand verbs for self-action as opposed to other action, to determine whether some of these verb and referent types are learned more quickly than are others.

Keywords:   nouns, word learning, verbs

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