Essay Questions

  1. How do labels impact infant category formation?
  2. Does knowledge of colour terms influence the way toddlers pay attention to colour? Discuss in respect to toddler eye-tracking findings.

Articles for Seminar Session

Gliozzi, V., Mayor, J., Hu, J. F., & Plunkett, K. (2009). Labels as features (not names) for infant categorization: A neurocomputational approach. Cognitive Science, 33(4), 709–738.

Fulkerson, A. L., & Waxman, S. R. (2007). Words (but not Tones) facilitate object categorization: Evidence from 6- and 12-month-olds. Cognition, 105(1), 218–228.

Reading List

Althaus, N., & Plunkett, K. (2015). Categorization in infancy: Labeling induces a persisting focus on commonalities. Developmental Science.

*Althaus, N., & Plunkett, K. (2015). Timing matters: The impact of label synchrony on infant categorisation. Cognition, 139, 1–9.

Althaus, N., & Westermann, G. (2016). Labels constructively shape categories in 10-month-old infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Reading List (cont)

Ferry, A. L., Hespos, S. J., & Waxman, S. R. (2013). Nonhuman primate vocalizations support categorization in very young human infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(38), 15231–5.

* Plunkett, K., Hu, J. F., & Cohen, L. B. (2008). Labels can override perceptual categories in early infancy. Cognition, 106(2), 665–681.

Robinson, C. W., & Sloutsky, V. M. (2007). Linguistic labels and categorization in infancy: Do labels facilitate or hinder? Infancy, 11(3), 233–253.

* Forbes, S. H., & Plunkett, K. (2019). The Role of Colour Labels in Mediating Toddler Visual Attention. Cognition, 186, 159-170.

* Johnson, E. K., McQueen, J. M., & Huettig, F. (2011). Toddlers’ language-mediated visual search: They need not have the words for it. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1672–1682.


Starred (*) articles are the set reading for the tutorial on the Whorfian Infant.

Essay Questions for Tutorial

  1. Do consonants and vowels contribute equally to word learning? Compare and contrast findings of consonant and vowel encoding specificity in different languages.
  2. Based on the current state of knowledge, explain Stager & Werker’s (1997) finding. Take into account both what you know about methodology and what you know about the specificity of infants’ phonological encoding.

Articles for seminar session

Thiessen, E. D. (2007). The effect of distributional information on children’s use of phonemic contrasts. Journal of Memory and Language, 56(1), 16–34. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2006.07.002

White, K. S., & Morgan, J. L. (2008). Sub-segmental detail in early lexical representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 59(1), 114–132. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2008.03.001

Mani, N., & Plunkett, K. (2007). Phonological specificity of vowels and consonants in early lexical representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(2), 252–272.

Review Articles

Curtin, S., & Zamuner, T. S. (2014). Understanding the developing sound system: interactions between sounds and words. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 5(5), 589–602. doi:10.1002/wcs.1307

Werker, J. F. (2018). Perceptual beginnings to language acquisition. Applied Psycholinguistics, 39(4), 703-728.

Reading List

* Bailey, T. M., & Plunkett, K. (2002). Phonological specificity in early words. Cognitive Development, 17(2), 1265–1282. doi:10.1016/S0885-2014(02)00116-8

Bergelson, E., & Swingley, D. (2012). At 6-9 months, human infants know the meanings of many common nouns. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(9), 3253–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.1113380109

Reading List (cont)

Fennell, C. T., & Waxman, S. R. (2010). What paradox? Referential cues allow for infant use of phonetic detail in word learning. Child Development, 81(5), 1376–1383. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01479.x

*Mani, N., & Plunkett, K. (2007). Phonological specificity of vowels and consonants in early lexical representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(2), 252–272. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2007.03.005

* Nazzi, T. (2005). Use of phonetic specificity during the acquisition of new words: differences between consonants and vowels. Cognition, 98(1), 13–30. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2004.10.005

* Stager, C. L., & Werker, J. F. (1997). Infants listen for more phonetic detail in speech perception than in word-learning tasks. Nature, 388(6640), 381–382. doi:10.1038/41102

Swingley, D., & Aslin, R. N. (2007). Lexical competition in young children’s word learning. Cognitive Psychology, 54(2), 99–132. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2006.05.001

Werker, J., & Tees, R. C. (1984). Cross-language speech perception: Evidence for perceptual reorganization during the first year of life. Infant Behavior and Development, 7(1), 49–63. doi:10.1016/S0163-6383(84)80022-3

* Yoshida, K. A., Fennell, C. T., Swingley, D., & Werker, J. F. (2009). Fourteen-month-old infants learn similar-sounding words. Developmental Science, 12(3), 412–418. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00789.

Starred (*) articles are the set reading for the Phono-lexical tutorial.

Essay Questions for Tutorial

  1. How might sleep support word learning and generalisation?
  2. Is napping beneficial to language development?

Review Articles

Stickgold, R. & Walker, M. P. Sleep-dependent memory triage: evolving generalization through selective processing. Nat. Neurosci.16, 139–45 (2013).

Rasch, B. & Born, J. About Sleep’s Role in Memory. Physiol. Rev.93, 681–766 (2013).

Wilhelm, I., Prehn-Kristensen, A. & Born, J. Sleep-dependent memory consolidation - What can be learnt from children? Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev.36, 1718–1728 (2012).

Reading List

Gomez, R., Bootzin, R. R., & Nadel, L. (2006). Naps Promote Abstraction in Language-Learning Infants. Psychological Science, 17(8), 670–675.

Williams, S. E., Horst, J. S. & Munro, N. A. (2014). Goodnight book : sleep consolidation improves word learning via storybooks.Frontiers in psychology, 5, 184.

Horvath, K., Myers, K., Foster, R., & Plunkett, K. (2015). Napping facilitates word learning in early lexical development. Journal of Sleep Research, 24(5), 503–509. http://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12306

Reading List (cont)

Horvath, K., Liu, S., Plunkett, K. (2016). A daytime nap facilitates generalisation of word meanings in young toddlers. Sleep, 39(1), 203-207.

Davis, M. H. & Gaskell, M. G. A complementary systems account of word learning: neural and behavioural evidence. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci.364, 3773–3800 (2009).

Hupbach, A., Gomez, R. L., Bootzin, R. R., & Nadel, L. (2009). Nap-dependent learning in infants. Developmental Science, 12(6), 1007–1012. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00837.x

Sandoval, M., Leclerc, J. A. & Gomez, R. L. Words to Sleep On : Naps Facilitate Verb Generalization in Habitually and Nonhabitually Napping Preschoolers. Child Dev.88, 1615–1628 (2017).

Werchan, D. M., & Gomez, R. L. (2014). Wakefulness (Not Sleep) Promotes Generalization of Word Learning in 2.5-Year-Old Children. Child Development, 85(2), 429–436. http://doi.org/0.1111/cdev.12149

Spanò, G. et al. REM sleep in naps differentially relates to memory consolidation in typical preschoolers and children with Down syndrome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.115, 11844–11849 (2018).

Essay Questions for Tutorial

  1. How do bilinguals acquire the sound systems of their languages? Could a statistical learning mechanism explain development?
  2. What are the particular challenges bilingual children face when learning words, and how do they overcome them?

Review Article

Werker, J. F., Byers-Heinlein, K., & Fennell, C. T. (2009). Bilingual beginnings to learning words. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 364(1536), 3649–3663. http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2009.0105

Reading List

Byers-Heinlein, K., & Werker, J. F. (2009). Monolingual, bilingual, trilingual: Infants’ language experience influences the development of a word-learning heuristic. Developmental Science, 12(5), 815–823. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00902.x

Fennell, C. T., Byers-Heinlein, K., & Werker, J. F. (2007). Using speech sounds to guide word learning: The case of bilingual infants. Child Development, 78(5), 1510–1525. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01080.x


Reading List (cont)

Mattock, K., Polka, L., Rvachew, S., & Krehm, M. (2010). The first steps in word learning are easier when the shoes fit: Comparing monolingual and bilingual infants. Developmental Science, 13(1), 229–243. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00891.x

Sebastián-Gallés, N., & Bosch, L. (2009). Developmental shift in the discrimination of vowel contrasts in bilingual infants: Is the distributional account all there is to it? Developmental Science, 12, 874–887. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00829.x

Sundara, M., Polka, L., & Molnar, M. (2008). Development of coronal stop perception: Bilingual infants keep pace with their monolingual peers. Cognition, 108(1), 232–242. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2007.12.013

Essay Questions for Tutorial

  1. What do visual word studies inform us about the mental processes involved in spoken-word recognition? Discuss findings reported in adults and toddlers.
  2. What do visual world studies inform us about the organisation of the mental lexicon? Discuss findings reported in adults and infants.

Articles for seminar session

Kapnoula, E. C., Packard, S., Gupta, P., & McMurray, B. (2015). Immediate lexical integration of novel word forms. Cognition, 134, 85-99.

Mani, N., & Plunkett, K. (2010). In the infant’s mind’s ear: Evidence for implicit naming in 18-month-olds. Psychological science, 21(7), 908-913.

Review Articles

Huettig, F., & McQueen, J. M. (2007). The tug of war between phonological, semantic and shape information in language-mediated visual search. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(4), 460–482.

Chow, J., Aimola-Davies, A., & Plunkett, K. (2017) Spoken-word recognition in 2-year-olds: The tug of war between phonological and semantic activation, Journal of Memory and Language, 93, 104–134.

Reading List

Allopenna, P. D., Magnuson, J. S., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (1998). Tracking the time course of spoken word recognition using eye movements: Evidence for continuous mapping models. Journal of memory and language, 38(4), 419-439.

Arias-Trejo, N., & Plunkett, K. (2009). Lexical-semantic priming effects during infancy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1536), 3633–3647.

Chow, J., Aimola-Davies, A., Fuentes, L, & Plunkett, K. (2018) The vocabulary spurt predicts the emergence of backward semantic inhibition in 18-month-old toddlers. Developmental Science.

Huettig, F., & Altmann, G. T. (2005). Word meaning and the control of eye fixation: Semantic competitor effects and the visual world paradigm. Cognition, 96(1), B23-B32.

Mani, N., & Plunkett, K. (2011). Phonological priming and cohort effects in toddlers. Cognition, 121(2), 196-206.

Essay Questions for Tutorial

  1. Are early words lexical islands?
  2. What are the building blocks of early semantic networks?

Articles for seminar session

Arias-Trejo, N., & Plunkett, K. (2009) Lexical-semantic priming effects during infancy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1536), 3633–3647.

Delle Luche, C., Durrant, S., Floccia, C. & Plunkett, K. (2014) Implicit Meaning in 18-month-old toddlers. Developmental Science, 17:6, 948-955

Plunkett, K., Delle Luche, C., Hills, T. & Floccia, C. (under review) Taxonomic and Associative Word Priming in Infancy

Reading List

Arias-Trejo, N., & Plunkett, K. (2009) Lexical-semantic priming effects during infancy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1536), 3633–3647.

Arias-Trejo, N. & Plunkett, K. (2013) What's in a Link: Associative and Taxonomic Priming Effects in the Infant Lexicon. Cognition, 128, 214-227

Reading List (cont)

Bergelson, E. & Aslin, R. (2017) Nature and origins of the lexicon in 6-month olds. PNAS, 114(49), 12916-12921

Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A. M., Fuentes, L. J. & Plunkett, K. (2016) Backward Semantic Inhibition in Toddlers, Psychological Science, 27(10), 1312-1320

Delle Luche, C., Durrant, S., Floccia, C. & Plunkett, K. (2014) Implicit Meaning in 18-month-old toddlers. Developmental Science, 17:6, 948-955

Hills, T. & Siew, C. (2018) Filling gaps in early word learning . Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 622-623.

Hills, T. T., Maouene, M., Maouene, J., Sheya, A. & Smith, L. (2009) Longitudinal Analysis of Early Semantic Networks: Preferential Attachment or Preferential Acquisition? Psychological Science, 20(6), 729-739

Wojcik, E. & Saffran, J. (2013) The Ontogeny of Lexical Networks: Toddlers Encode the Relationships Among Referents When Learning Novel Words. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1898-1905

Plaut, D. C. (1995). Semantic and associative priming in a distributed attractor network. Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 37–42.

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