Word, Intention, and Action: A Two-Tiered Model of Action Word Learning

Diane Poulin-Dubois and James N. Forbes

in Action Meets Word

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195170009
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893300 | DOI:
Word, Intention, and Action: A Two-Tiered Model of Action Word Learning

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This chapter examines how children's cognitive, social, and linguistic abilities interact to enable them to analyze action in events and learn novel verbs. It argues that “infants not only are competent in discriminating human actions and object motion but also understand that many different agents are capable of performing the same actions by the beginning of the second year.” However, these achievements are insufficient for verb learning and extension because toddlers must become aware of the intentions of the actor. Verb learning and extension first occur based on a superficial perceptual analysis of how the action looks, followed by learning and extension based more on what the actor intends to do.

Keywords: action word learning; linguistic abilities; novel verbs; language acquisition; action discrimination; object motion

Chapter.  10497 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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