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Bilingual and monolingual children's use of two lexical acquisition heuristics

  • William E. Merriman (a1) and Vesna Kutlesic (a1)


Children's heuristics for word learning have been the focus of much research, but little is known about bilinguals' and monolinguals' comparative use of them. In this study, 36 Serbian/ English bilinguals and 42 English monolinguals, who were between 5 and 8 years old and lived in the same neighborhoods in the United States, received a successive name training assessment of two heuristics: criterial use of highlighted features and preservation of mutual exclusivity. Older children employed both heuristics more often than younger ones. Monolinguals were more likely than bilinguals to interpret a highlighted feature as a necessary condition for applying a new English object name, but the groups did not differ in their tendency to maintain mutual exclusivity between the extensions of two novel English labels.


Corresponding author

William E. Merriman, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242


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Bilingual and monolingual children's use of two lexical acquisition heuristics

  • William E. Merriman (a1) and Vesna Kutlesic (a1)


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