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Academic Paper


Title: Children's referential understanding of novel words and parent labeling behaviors: similarities across children with and without autism spectrum disorders
Author: Hanady Bani Hani
Institution: McGill University
Author: Ana Maria Gonzalez-Barrero
Institution: McGill University
Author: Aparna S. Nadig
Institution: McGill University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Pragmatics
Abstract: This study examined two facets of the use of social cues for early word learning in parent–child dyads, where children had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or were typically developing. In Experiment 1, we investigated word learning and generalization by children with ASD (age range: 3;01–6;02) and typically developing children (age range: 1;02–4;09) who were matched on language ability. In Experiment 2, we examined verbal and non-verbal parental labeling behaviors. First, we found that both groups were similarly able to learn a novel label using social cues alone, and to generalize this label to other representations of the object. Children who utilized social cues for word learning had higher language levels. Second, we found that parental cues used to introduce object labels were strikingly similar across groups. Moreover, parents in both groups adapted labeling behavior to their child's language level, though this surfaced in different ways across groups.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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