Word Recognition and Word Prediction in 2.5-year-olds: an eye-tracking study.
The current study aimed to investigate the correlations between the off-line N-CDI perception and production measures, and the online word recognition and word prediction abilities of 2.5-year-old children. Study 1 was a replication of a study done by Van Alphen et al. (2021). 27 children participated in an online eye-tracking study during which they heard sentences like “kijk, een bed!” during the word recognition task, and “kijk, daar lacht gewoon een jongen” during the word prediction task. Our results showed that the children from the current study had slower gaze shifts from distractor to target, and had less fixations to the targets, than the 3.5-year-olds from the original study by Van Alphen et al. (2021). However, results showed that the 2.5-year-olds were capable of recognising known words, as well as make predictions about upcoming referents based on verbs. Furthermore, the results of Study 1 showed no correlation between the off-line N-CDI measures and the two tasks. Study 2 was a replication of the study done by Brouwer et al. (2017). 25 children participated in an online eye-tracking task. During this task, participants heard utterances like “zie je de groene schoen? Vind je ‘m mooi?”. Results showed that the 2.5-year-olds were not able to make predictions based on grammatical gender cues. Additionally, we found no evidence of a correlation between the off-line N-CDI measures and the task. Although we found no significant correlations between the experimental measures and off-line language measures, our result reveal that word recognition and word prediction based on verbs may serve as good predictors for language acquisition, which future research with more participants could confirm.
Faculteit der Letteren