Effect of Perceptual Factors in the Relationship between a Referent and Objects around the Referent on Young Children’s Interpretation of Word Meanings

Takahiro Tamura


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of perceptual factors in the relationship between a referent and objects around the referent on young children’s interpretation of word meanings. Participants were 60 children aged 5 years (35 girls, 25 boys; mean age: 5 years 7 months). They participated in a task of interpreting the meaning of nonsense words with high and low inclusiveness conditions. Participants were likely to perceive that objects around the target object included the target object in the high inclusiveness condition. On the other hand, they were not likely to do so in the low inclusiveness condition. As a result, in the high inclusiveness condition, they were likely to speculate that the nonsense label was the name for the target taken together with the object around the target, while in the low inclusiveness condition, they understood it as the name of the target item. The results showed that detailed perceptual factors, such as inclusiveness of the referent and objects around the referent, affected children’s language development process.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v8i6.4812


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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