Input effects on the acquisition of a novel phrasal construction in 5 year olds


The present experiments demonstrate that children as young as five years old (M = 5;2) generalize beyond their input on the basis of minimal exposure to a novel argument structure construction. The novel construction that was used involved a non-English phrasal pattern: VN1N2, paired with a novel abstract meaning: N2 approaches N1. At the same time, we find that children are keenly sensitive to the input: they show knowledge of the construction after a single day of exposure but this grows stronger after 3 days; also, children generalize more readily to new verbs when the input contains more than one verb.

Journal of Memory and Language, 66(3), 458-478
Jeremy Boyd
Jeremy Boyd
Behavioral & data scientist

I develop evidence-based interventions aimed at improving human developmental outcomes.