Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: What counts as effective input for word learning?
Author: Laura A. Shneidman
Institution: University of Chicago
Author: Michelle E. Arroyo
Institution: University of Chicago
Author: Susan C. Levine
Institution: University of Chicago
Author: Susan Goldin-Meadow
Institution: University of Chicago
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: The talk children hear from their primary caregivers predicts the size of their vocabularies. But children who spend time with multiple individuals also hear talk that others direct to them, as well as talk not directed to them at all. We investigated the effect of linguistic input on vocabulary acquisition in children who routinely spent time with one vs. multiple individuals. For all children, the number of words primary caregivers directed to them at age 2 ; 6 predicted vocabulary size at age 3 ; 6. For children who spent time with multiple individuals, child-directed words from household members also predicted later vocabulary and accounted for more variance in vocabulary than words from primary caregivers alone. Interestingly, overheard words added no predictive value to the model. These findings suggest that speech directed to children is important for early word learning, even in households where a sizable proportion of input comes from overheard speech.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 3.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page