Concepts and words in the 18-month-old: Acquiring concept names under controlled conditions

Keith E. Nelson, John D. Bonvillian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The young child's use of available evidence in acquiring words was examined longitudinally. In comparison with previous work on early word meaning, two essential departures in design were employed - word use by the children was exhaustively detailed in an experimental setting, and this setting permitted systematic control and limitation in patterns of referent object encounter and of adult naming for the objects (toys). Although the children (n = 10) were presented relatively few examples from which to learn word and concept meanings, they succeeded in learning to use many of the words appropriately. Variations in the course of learning for different children are discussed, with special attention to the ways in which nonverbal action or mother-child interaction could have influenced the child's progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-450
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1973

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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