Cross-situational word learning in the right situations. Dautriche, I. and Chemla, E. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(3):892-903, 2014.
Cross-situational word learning in the right situations [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   1 download  
Upon hearing a novel word, language learners must identify its correct meaning from a diverse set of situationally relevant options. Such referential ambiguity could be reduced through repetitive exposure to the novel word across diverging learning situations, a learning mechanism referred to as cross-situational learning. Previous research has focused on the amount of information learners carry over from one learning instance to the next. The present paper investigates how context can modulate the learning strategy and its efficiency. Results from four cross-situational learning experiments with adults suggest that (1) Learners encode more than the specific hypotheses they form about the meaning of a word, providing evidence against the recent view referred to as ``single hypothesis testing''. (2) Learning is faster when learning situations consistently contain members from a given group, regardless of whether this group is a semantically coherent group (e.g., animals) or induced through repetition (objects being presented together repetitively, just like a fork and a door may occur together repetitively in a kitchen). (3) Learners are subject to memory illusions, in a way that suggests that the learning situation itself appears to be encoded in memory during learning. Overall, our findings demonstrate that realistic contexts (such as the situation in which a given word has occurred, e.g., in the zoo or in the kitchen) help learners retrieve or discard potential referents for a word, because such contexts can be memorized and associated with a to-be-learned word.
@article{Dautriche-Chemla-XSL,
	abstract = {Upon hearing a novel word, language learners must identify its correct meaning from a diverse set of situationally relevant options. Such referential ambiguity could be reduced through repetitive exposure to the novel word across diverging learning situations, a learning mechanism referred to as cross-situational learning. Previous research has focused on the amount of information learners carry over from one learning instance to the next. The present paper investigates how context can modulate the learning strategy and its efficiency. Results from four cross-situational learning experiments with adults suggest that (1) Learners encode more than the specific hypotheses they form about the meaning of a word, providing evidence against the recent view referred to as ``single hypothesis testing''. (2) Learning is faster when learning situations consistently contain members from a given group, regardless of whether this group is a semantically coherent group (e.g., animals) or induced through repetition (objects being presented together repetitively, just like a fork and a door may occur together repetitively in a kitchen). (3) Learners are subject to memory illusions, in a way that suggests that the learning situation itself appears to be encoded in memory during learning. Overall, our findings demonstrate that realistic contexts (such as the situation in which a given word has occurred, e.g., in the zoo or in the kitchen) help learners retrieve or discard potential referents for a word, because such contexts can be memorized and associated with a to-be-learned word.
},
	author = {Isabelle Dautriche and Emmanuel Chemla},
	date-added = {2013-11-15 21:22:52 +0000},
	date-modified = {2017-04-07 11:40:41 +0000},
	journal = {Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition},
	keywords = {acquisition},
	number = {3},
	pages = {892-903},
	title = {Cross-situational word learning in the right situations},
	url = {http://www.lscp.net/persons/dautriche/publi/2014_right_situations_for_cross_situational_learning.pdf},
	volume = {40},
	year = {2014},
	Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://www.lscp.net/persons/dautriche/publi/2014_right_situations_for_cross_situational_learning.pdf}}
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