Dynamic Synchrony and Early Word Learning

Patricia Zukow-Goldring & Nancy de Villiers Rader

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Dynamic Synchrony and Early Word Learning

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  • Out of near infinite possibilities, how do infants come to perceive the relation between a segment of speech and a specific aspect of what is available visually at any one moment? At the very least, the infant must hear a word uttered in the presence of its referent. Considerable early word learning research has focused on the role of pointing and eye gaze in creating joint attention. However, while many infants of less than 18 months of age follow distal points or eye gaze accurately, there is no evidence that doing so leads to word learning before 18 months. Nonetheless, by 12 months of age, they comprehend 60 to 80 words. One crucial aspect of achieving this developmental milestone that had been overlooked was a ...

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