Recent research indicates that toddlers can monitor others' conversations, raising the possibility that they can acquire vocabulary in this way. Three studies examined 2-year-olds' (N= 88) ability to learn novel words when overhearing these words used by others. Children aged 2,6 were equally good at learning novel words— both object labels and action verbs—when they were overhearers as when they were directly addressed. For younger 2-year-olds (2,1), this was true for object labels, but the results were less clear for verbs. The findings demonstrate that 2-year-olds can acquire novel words from overheard speech, and highlight the active role played by toddlers in vocabulary acquisition.



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Published by Wiley-Blackwell.

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Psychology Commons



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/psycd_fac/47