Basheer Ahmed Hamood Mufleh 91 Word-to-World Mapping or Syntactic Cues? Lexical Development in First Language Acquisition ================================================================== Language in India www.languageinindia

Basheer Ahmed, Hamood Mufleh
2017 UGC Approved List of Journals Serial Number   unpublished
In the acquisition of words, the most complicated question that several studies have tried to efficiently answer is how children learn words, particularly how they attain words' meanings. It has always been hard to explain the rapid development of children's lexicons. The present paper discusses different accounts for lexical development starting from the time children begin segmenting words from fluent speech till the time they have to match concepts and words. It looks into different accounts
more » ... different accounts for concept-word matching and highlights their pros and cons. The argument is that Word-to-World mapping is insufficient for identifying words that are abstract. Mapping contingencies are another problem; a child will not hear the word 'open' every time the door is opened. Constrained-word learning can help children identify some words in the prelexical stage before they have access to syntactic cues. By the time children get access to the syntactic cues, they can effortlessly identify concrete and abstract words without much help from cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that in spite of the cognitive level adults reach, they could not identify the meanings of novel words in the absence of syntactic cues. Identifying words is strongly influenced by syntactic cues; little help comes from semantics and cognitive development.