Babies love to communicate and they're great listeners, even early on.
New research shows that during the first year of life, when babies spend so much time listening to language, they're actually tracking word patterns that will support their process of word- learning that occurs between the ages of about 18 months and two years.
"Babies are constantly looking for language clues in context and sound," says Jill Lany, assistant professor of psychology and director of University of Notre Dame's baby lab, where she conducts studies on how babies acquire language. "My research suggests that there are some surprising clues in the sound stream that may help babies learn the meanings of words. They can distinguish different kinds of words like nouns and verbs by information in that sound stream."
Lany's studies show that babies as young as twelve months can identify 'adjacent relationships' in which a phrase or sound like "it's a" occurs immediately before an object. "If I were to say to you, 'Oh look, it's a dax,' you might not know what a 'dax' is but the cue 'it's a' let's a baby know that what follows is an object."
Similarly, if a person were to say "I'm daxing it," the same principal is at work with cues and word patterns that indicate a verb or action word. Babies actually can use these patterns as clues to the meanings of new words they are learning. By about 15 months, babies are able to track more complicated "non-adjacent relationships" in which the word cue may be even further removed.
"We often think about grammar coming after word-learning, but in fact, my research shows that all this information that babies are picking up in that first year of life about how words are occurring in their language, actually is supporting this process of word-learning prior to mastery of language."
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Why An Extra Planet Can't Be Hidden Behind The Sun Or Above The South Pole
- My Applied National Security Paper. Being President Isn't For Idiots.
- Why Has Organic Farming Flatlined?
- Hugh Hefner's Wife Was Not Poisoned By Breast Implants
- Top Scientists Chastise Greenpeace
- SYRINA: A Trojan Horse For Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?
- The Daily Physics Problem - 5
- "So what was the precipitating event which caused your re-evaluation?..."
- "I try this one... I am a bit rusty, so my solution can be dramatically wrong. Given that B is uniform..."
- "wow! with a name like Wilhelmina Pelegrina, she can't do no wrong. also,some of the problems in..."
- "This is the best you could do? Golden Rice is in the public domain - the lack of any corporate..."
- "Dylan, okay first TL:DR, the answer is that for anything of 10 km upwards, months or a year or..."
- Cancer As Modern Lifestyle Disease? Only If There Was Processed Food 2 Million Years Ago
- Blood Test for Alzheimer’s: Close Or Hype?
- The Flavor Enhancing Molecule in Roasted Garlic Powder
- Pediatricians Should Provide Sex Ed, But Many Don’t
- Calico Cats Are A Walking Genetics Lesson
- Statins Could Help Prevent Some Pregnancy Ills
- An extraordinary standard: New NIST protein could spur biopharmaceutical innovation
- Early detection of leukemia patients' resistance to therapy
- Research reveals restorative justice reduces recidivism
- Recovery of dopamine function emerges with recovery from smoking
- Scientists call for increased federal investment in sustainable agriculture