Mapping hypothesis is a model of word learning in early language development in which the child follows the adult’s attention to identify the referent and create a mental map between the referent and the label that the adult provided. The model is increased to include a priori constraints on the possible hypotheses children test and to differentiate fast and slow mapping. Mapping hypothesis is an associative model of word learning, primarily used to describe the acquisition of object labels.

Some researchers have used the term mapping hypothesis to describe the interpretation of sentences with multiple subjects. This work led to a therapeutic approach to increasing sentence comprehension for individuals with nonfluent aphasia. Another separate use of the term direct mapping hypothesis is used by a ...

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