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Hot dogs and zavy cats: Preschoolers' and adults expectations about familiar and novel adjectives
Graham, Susan A.
Welder, Andrea N.
McCrimmon, Adam W.
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Brain and Language (Full Text) vol. 84 no. 1 (2003)
In recent years, a growing body of research has begun to examine the processes that underlie young children's acquisition of adjectival meanings. In the present studies, we examined whether preschoolers' willingness to extend adjectives was influenced by the type of property labeled by familiar adjectives (Experiment 1) and by semantic information conveyed in the sentence used to introduce novel adjectives (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, we examined preschoolers' and adults' expectations about the generalizability of familiar adjectives of three different types: emotional state terms, physiological state terms, and stable trait terms. On each trial, we labeled a target animal with one of the three different types of adjectives and asked whether these terms could apply to a subordinate-level match, a basic-level match, a superordinate- level match, or an inanimate object. Results indicated that 4-year-olds and adults extended the trait terms, but not the emotional or physiological terms, to members of the same basic-level category. In Experiment 2, we presented 4-year-olds and adults with novel adjectives in one of two verb frames: stable (‘‘This X is very daxy’’) or transient (‘‘This X feels very daxy’’). Participants were more likely to extend the novel adjective to subordinate matches if they were in the Stable frame group than if they were in the Transient frame group. These findings are discussed in terms of implications for young children's expectations about familiar and novel adjectives.
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