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Task-appropriate input supports word–object association in 14-month-old female infants

  • Laurel FAIS (a1) and Eric VATIKIOTIS-BATESON (a2)


Fourteen-month-old infants are unable to link minimal pair nonsense words with novel objects (Stager & Werker, 1997). Might an adult's productions in a word learning context support minimal pair word–object association in these infants? We recorded a mother interacting with her 24-month-old son, and with her 5-month-old son, producing nonsense words bin and din. We used these productions to determine if they had a differential effect on 14-month-old infants’ word–object association abilities. Females hearing the words spoken to the older infant, but not those to the younger, succeeded. We suggest that the task-appropriateness of utterances can support infant word learning.


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*Corresponding author: 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BCV6T 1Z4, Canada. E-mail:


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Task-appropriate input supports word–object association in 14-month-old female infants

  • Laurel FAIS (a1) and Eric VATIKIOTIS-BATESON (a2)


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