Beyond the Holographic Universe - 超越宇宙全息

The scientific forum of Fausto Intilla (inventor & scientific popularizer) - WWW.OLOSCIENCE.COM
 
HomePortalFAQSearchRegisterMemberlistUsergroupsLog in

Share | 
 

 Why Do Children Experience A Vocabulary Explosion At 18...

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Fausto
Admin
avatar

Posts : 185
Join date : 2007-07-24
Age : 46
Location : Switzerland

PostSubject: Why Do Children Experience A Vocabulary Explosion At 18...   Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:37 pm

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802182054.htm

Why Do Children Experience A Vocabulary Explosion At 18 Months Of Age?

Science Daily Researchers have long known that at about 18 months children experience a vocabulary explosion, suddenly learning words at a much faster rate. They have theorized that complex mechanisms are behind the phenomenon. But new research by a University of Iowa professor suggests far simpler mechanisms may be at play: word repetition, variations in the difficulty of words and the fact that children are learning multiple words at once.

"The field of developmental psychology and language development has always assumed that something happens at that point to account for this word spurt: kids discover things have names, they switch to using more efficient mechanisms and they use their first words to help discover new ones," said Bob McMurray, assistant professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Many such mechanisms have been proposed."

In an article about his study on the topic being published Aug. 3 in the journal Science, McMurray writes that children may still engage those specialized mechanisms. But a series of computational simulations that he conducted suggest that simpler explanations - such as the repetition of words over time, the fact that children learn many words at the same time and the fact that words vary in difficulty - are sufficient to account for the vocabulary explosion.

"Children are going to get that word spurt guaranteed, mathematically, as long as a couple of conditions hold," McMurray said. "They have to be learning more than one word at a time, and they must be learning a greater number of difficult or moderate words than easy words. Using computer simulations and mathematical analysis, I found that if those two conditions are true, you always get a vocabulary explosion."

McMurray's simulations are analogous to a series of jars of different sizes, each representing a word, with more difficult words represented by larger jars. As individual units of time passed, a chip is dropped into each jar. Once the jar is filled, the word is learned.

McMurray's mathematical analysis suggests that the word spurt is largely driven by the number of small jars (easy words) relative to large jars (difficult words). As long as there are more difficult words than easy ones, the vocabulary explosion is guaranteed.

Few words in any language are used an overwhelming number of times in ordinary speech. So, if frequency of use is considered as a measure of degree of difficulty, languages have many more difficult than easy words, McMurray said.

Experts have long thought that once a child learns a word, it is easier for him or her to learn more words. Or in the case of McMurray's simulation, the jars become smaller. But McMurray also simulated a model in which the jars became larger once a word was learned and found that the vocabulary explosion still occurred.

"If we see the same word spurt when we model the inverse of accepted thinking, then clearly the specialized mechanisms aren't necessary," he said. "Our general abilities can take us a lot farther than we thought."

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of Iowa.

Fausto Intilla's web site: www.oloscience.com
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.oloscience.com
 
Why Do Children Experience A Vocabulary Explosion At 18...
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Train collides with big-rig and derails, with explosion, flames near Baltimore, Maryland
» FUKUSHIMA ::: ALERT ::: UNDERGROUND REACTIONS MAY LEAD TO NEW EXPLOSION
» Mystery explosion at Iran's Arak heavy water reactor
» Residents in Tennessee Report Earth Shaking & Mysterious Explosion Sounds - 2/12/
» Dream Vocabulary

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Beyond the Holographic Universe - 超越宇宙全息 :: People :: Behavioral & Social Sciences-
Jump to: