Infants’ Visual Experiences During Noun and Verb Learning



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Noun and verb development occur at different times in language development for an infant. The underlying processes for this difference are not completely understood in regard to word learning. The current explanations are in the perceptual perspective, linguistic context, and social context. In this study, there are 22 participants (4.0-18.3 mos, High/Medium SES English monolinguals) to see how noun and verb trials play a factor in differences of behaviors using eye-tracking headcam during a parent-child play session. The study consists of comparing the infant’s lexicon of words understood and produced (MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories: Words and Gestures) to overall trends in looking behavior for parent and child including the optimal visual naming moment (OVNM), changes in hand-holding, differences in sustained and joint attention, and the number of target words during four noun and four verb trials lasting 40 seconds per trial. The differences in experiences expected are increased OVNM counts and number target words in the noun trial while increased hand-holding in the verb trials. The results supported our original hypothesis where certain experiences are different (OVNM, hand-holding, and the number of target words) across the trials with the addition of joint attention as a factor. The increased hand-holding in the verb trial provides a possible different function for object holding.