The role of prior experience in language acquisition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Learners exposed to an artificial language recognize its abstract structural regularities when instantiated in a novel vocabulary (e.g., Gómez, Gerken, & Schvaneveldt, 2000; Tunney & Altmann, 2001). We asked whether such sensitivity accelerates subsequent learning, and enables acquisition of more complex structure. In Experiment 1, pre-exposure to a category-induction language of the form aX bY sped subsequent learning when the language is instantiated in a different vocabulary. In Experiment 2, while naïve learners did not acquire an acX bcY language, in which aX and bY co-occurrence regularities were separated by a c-element, prior experience with an aX bY language provided some benefit. In Experiment 3 we replicated this finding with a 24-hour delay between learning phases, and controlled for prior experience with the aX bY language's prosodic and phonological characteristics. These findings suggest that learners, and the structure they can acquire, change as a function of experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-507
Number of pages27
JournalCognitive Science
Volume31
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007

Fingerprint

language acquisition
Language
language
experience
Vocabulary
Experiments
Learning
regularity
vocabulary
experiment
learning
induction
Prior Experience
Language Acquisition
Axe
Experiment
Regularity

Keywords

  • Language acquisition
  • Learning mechanisms
  • Prior experience
  • Transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

The role of prior experience in language acquisition. / Lany, Jill; Gomez, Rebecca L; Gerken, Louann.

In: Cognitive Science, Vol. 31, No. 3, 05.2007, p. 481-507.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a6ca3814948f4ad79c119925d88c859b,
title = "The role of prior experience in language acquisition",
abstract = "Learners exposed to an artificial language recognize its abstract structural regularities when instantiated in a novel vocabulary (e.g., G{\'o}mez, Gerken, & Schvaneveldt, 2000; Tunney & Altmann, 2001). We asked whether such sensitivity accelerates subsequent learning, and enables acquisition of more complex structure. In Experiment 1, pre-exposure to a category-induction language of the form aX bY sped subsequent learning when the language is instantiated in a different vocabulary. In Experiment 2, while na{\"i}ve learners did not acquire an acX bcY language, in which aX and bY co-occurrence regularities were separated by a c-element, prior experience with an aX bY language provided some benefit. In Experiment 3 we replicated this finding with a 24-hour delay between learning phases, and controlled for prior experience with the aX bY language's prosodic and phonological characteristics. These findings suggest that learners, and the structure they can acquire, change as a function of experience.",
keywords = "Language acquisition, Learning mechanisms, Prior experience, Transfer",
author = "Jill Lany and Gomez, {Rebecca L} and Louann Gerken",
year = "2007",
month = "5",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "481--507",
journal = "Cognitive Science",
issn = "0364-0213",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of prior experience in language acquisition

AU - Lany, Jill

AU - Gomez, Rebecca L

AU - Gerken, Louann

PY - 2007/5

Y1 - 2007/5

N2 - Learners exposed to an artificial language recognize its abstract structural regularities when instantiated in a novel vocabulary (e.g., Gómez, Gerken, & Schvaneveldt, 2000; Tunney & Altmann, 2001). We asked whether such sensitivity accelerates subsequent learning, and enables acquisition of more complex structure. In Experiment 1, pre-exposure to a category-induction language of the form aX bY sped subsequent learning when the language is instantiated in a different vocabulary. In Experiment 2, while naïve learners did not acquire an acX bcY language, in which aX and bY co-occurrence regularities were separated by a c-element, prior experience with an aX bY language provided some benefit. In Experiment 3 we replicated this finding with a 24-hour delay between learning phases, and controlled for prior experience with the aX bY language's prosodic and phonological characteristics. These findings suggest that learners, and the structure they can acquire, change as a function of experience.

AB - Learners exposed to an artificial language recognize its abstract structural regularities when instantiated in a novel vocabulary (e.g., Gómez, Gerken, & Schvaneveldt, 2000; Tunney & Altmann, 2001). We asked whether such sensitivity accelerates subsequent learning, and enables acquisition of more complex structure. In Experiment 1, pre-exposure to a category-induction language of the form aX bY sped subsequent learning when the language is instantiated in a different vocabulary. In Experiment 2, while naïve learners did not acquire an acX bcY language, in which aX and bY co-occurrence regularities were separated by a c-element, prior experience with an aX bY language provided some benefit. In Experiment 3 we replicated this finding with a 24-hour delay between learning phases, and controlled for prior experience with the aX bY language's prosodic and phonological characteristics. These findings suggest that learners, and the structure they can acquire, change as a function of experience.

KW - Language acquisition

KW - Learning mechanisms

KW - Prior experience

KW - Transfer

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34447562898&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34447562898&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 21635305

AN - SCOPUS:34447562898

VL - 31

SP - 481

EP - 507

JO - Cognitive Science

JF - Cognitive Science

SN - 0364-0213

IS - 3

ER -