Noun Bias in Word Learning

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  • The term noun bias is used to describe a common pattern exhibited in children's early vocabularies in which the number of nouns exceeds the number of other word types. In general, studies have shown a dominance of nouns in typically developing children's language development before 18 to 24 months, which may or may not persist. As Katherine Nelson suggests, the noun advantage should not be construed as predicting that all nouns precede all verbs or that no verbs are learned in the earliest stages of language development. Instead, it merely characterizes a greater proportion of nouns as compared to verbs, most strongly seen in production, especially in these early stages.

    There are two main methodologies that have been used to study early vocabularies: vocabulary checklist measures ...

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