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Bilingualism in infancy : a window on language acquisition Byers-Heinlein, Krista 2010

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 BILINGUALISM
IN
INFANCY:
A
WINDOW
ON
LANGUAGE
ACQUISITION
 
by

Krista
Byers‐Heinlein

B.A.,
McGill
University,
2003
M.A.
The
University
of
British
Columbia,
2006



 

A
THESIS
SUBMITTED
IN
PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT
OF

THE
REQUIREMENTS
FOR
THE
DEGREE
OF


DOCTOR
OF
PHILOSOPHY

in

The
Faculty
of
Graduate
Studies

(Psychology)


 

THE
UNIVERSITY
OF
BRITISH
COLUMBIA
(Vancouver)




April,
2010





©
Krista
Byers‐Heinlein
2010
 
 ii
 Abstract


 To
rise
to
the
challenge
of
acquiring
their
native
language,
infants
must
deploy
tools
to
support
their
learning.
This
thesis
compared
infants
growing
up
in
two
very
different
language
environments,
monolingual
and
bilingual,
to
better
understand
these
tools
and
how
their
development
and
use
changes
with
the
context
of
language
acquisition.
The
first
set
of
studies
−
Chapter
2
−
showed
that
infants
adapt
very
early‐developing
tools
to
the
context
of
their
prenatal
experience.
Newborns
born
to
bilingual
mothers
directed
their
attention
to
both
of
their
native
languages,
while
monolinguals
preferred
listening
to
their
single
native
language.
However,
prenatal
bilingual
experience
did
not
result
in
language
confusion,
as
language
discrimination
was
robustly
maintained
in
both
monolinguals
and
bilinguals.
Thus,
learning
mechanisms
allow
experience‐based
listening
preferences,
while
enduring
perceptual
sensitivities
support
language
discrimination
even
in
challenging
language
environments.
Chapter
3
investigated
a
fundamental
word
learning
tool:
the
ability
to
associate
word
and
object.
Monolinguals
and
bilinguals
showed
an
identical
developmental
trajectory,
suggesting
that, unlike some aspects of word learning, this
associative
ability
is equivalent across different types of early language environments.

Chapters
4
and
5
explored
the
development
of
a
heuristic
for
learning
novel
words.
Disambiguation
is
the
strategy
of
associating
a
novel
word
with
a
novel
object,
rather
than
a
familiar
one.
In
Chapter
4,
disambiguation
was
robustly
demonstrated
by
18‐month‐old
monolinguals,
but
not
by
age‐matched
bilinguals
and
trilinguals.
The
results
supported
the
“lexicon
structure
hypothesis”,
that
disambiguation
develops
with
mounting
evidence
for
a
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
words
and
their
referents,
as
is
typical
for
monolinguals.
For
bilinguals,
translation
equivalents
(cross‐language
synonyms)
represent
a
departure
from
 
 iii
 one‐to‐one
mapping.
Chapter
5
directly
tested
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis,
by
comparing
subgroups
of
bilinguals
who
knew
few
translation
equivalents
to
bilinguals
who
knew
many.
Only
the
former
group
showed
disambiguation,
supporting
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis.
The
series
of
studies
presented
in
this
thesis
provides
a
window
into
language
acquisition
across
all
infants.
Whether
growing
up
monolingual
or
bilingual,
infants
harmonize
their
development
and
use
of
the
tools
of
language
acquisition
to
the
particular
challenges
mounted
by
their
language
environment.

 
 iv
 Table
of
contents
 Abstract..................................................................................................................................................... ii
 Table
of
contents .................................................................................................................................. iv
 List
of
tables ........................................................................................................................................... vi
 List
of
figures ........................................................................................................................................vii
 Acknowledgements ...........................................................................................................................viii
 Co­authorship
statement .....................................................................................................................x
 1
 Introduction..................................................................................................................................... 1
1.1
 General
overview................................................................................................................................. 1
1.2
 Tools
for
speech
perception ........................................................................................................... 3
1.3
 Tools
for
word
learning .................................................................................................................... 8
1.4
 Thesis
rationale ................................................................................................................................. 16
1.5
 References ........................................................................................................................................... 18
 2
 The
roots
of
bilingualism
in
newborns.................................................................................31
2.1
 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 31
2.2
 Study
1a ................................................................................................................................................ 34
2.3
 Study
1b................................................................................................................................................ 37
2.4
 Study
2................................................................................................................................................... 39
2.5
 General
discussion ........................................................................................................................... 42
2.6
 References ........................................................................................................................................... 44
 3
 The
development
of
associative
word
learning
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
 infants......................................................................................................................................................47
3.1
 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 47
3.2
 Method .................................................................................................................................................. 53
3.3
 Results ................................................................................................................................................... 56
3.4
 Discussion............................................................................................................................................ 58
3.5
 References ........................................................................................................................................... 62
 4
 Monolingual,
bilingual,
trilingual:
Infants’
language
experience
influences
the
 development
of
a
word­learning
heuristic .................................................................................72
4.1
 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 72
4.2
 Study
1................................................................................................................................................... 75
4.3
 Study
2................................................................................................................................................... 84
4.4
 General
discussion ........................................................................................................................... 85
4.5
 References ........................................................................................................................................... 92
 5
 Knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
influences
how
bilingual
infants
learn
 words.......................................................................................................................................................98
5.1
 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 98
5.2
 Methods ..............................................................................................................................................108
5.3
 Results .................................................................................................................................................114
5.4
 Discussion..........................................................................................................................................121
5.5
 Conclusions .......................................................................................................................................129
5.6
 References .........................................................................................................................................131
 
 v
 6
 Conclusions ................................................................................................................................. 139
6.1
 Summary
of
results
and
implications ....................................................................................139
6.2
 Limitations ........................................................................................................................................146
6.3
 Future
directions ............................................................................................................................148
6.4
 Concluding
statement...................................................................................................................149
6.5
 References .........................................................................................................................................151
 Appendix
1.......................................................................................................................................... 155
 Appendix
2.......................................................................................................................................... 156
 Appendix
3.......................................................................................................................................... 157
 Appendix
4.......................................................................................................................................... 158

 
 vi
 List
of
tables
 Table
4.1.
English
MCDI
scores
for
infants
in
Study
1 ..................................................................77
 Table
5.1:
Infants’
vocabulary
data
across
a
range
of
measures. ............................................ 116
 Table
5.2
Correlations
between
language
measures
in
comprehension
vocabulary
and
performance
on
novel
label
and
familiar
label
trials. ........................................................ 121

 
 vii
 List
of
figures
 Figure
2.1
Mean
location
of
languages
in
the
(%V,
ΔC)
plane.....................................................32
 Figure
2.2
Individual
preference
scores
and
group
averages
for
monolingual
English,
Chinese
bilingual,
and
Tagalog
bilingual
infants
in
Studies
1a
and
1b
(preference). ....36
 Figure
2.3
Number
of
high
amplitude
sucks
per
minute
across
experimental
blocks
for
the
control
and
experimental
(monolingual
English
and
Tagalog
bilingual
exposure)
groups
in
Study
2
(discrimination)...........................................................................................42
 Figure
3.1.
Objects
used
for
visual
stimuli.
A)
Crown‐shaped
object
labeled
“lif”
B)
Molecule‐shaped
object
labeled
“neem”
C)
Waterwheel
object
used
for
pretest
and
posttest
labeled
“pok”..................................................................................................................54
 Figure
3.3
Study
results
for
12‐
and
14‐month‐old
monolinguals
and
bilinguals. .................57
 Figure
4.1
Sample
stimulus
pairs.
(a)
Car‐ball
pair
(b)
Phototube‐shoe
pair..........................77
 Figure
4.2
Proportion
increased
looking
towards
target
objects
as
a
function
of
language
exposure
group. ............................................................................................................................83
 Figure
5.1
Bilinguals’
average
performance
on
novel
label
trials,
and
as
a
function
of
overlap
group. ............................................................................................................................ 120
 
 
 
 viii
 Acknowledgements
I
owe
the
deepest
gratitude
to
my
advisor
and
mentor
Janet
Werker,
for
her
abundant
enthusiasm,
her
persistent
push
to
dig
deeper,
and
the
many
ways
that
she
has
facilitated
my
growth
as
a
researcher
and
scholar.

I
am
indebted
to
my
committee
members
Geoffrey
Hall
and
Steven
Heine
for
seeing
me
through
the
process.
Thank
you
to
Fei
Xu
for
providing
the
opportunity
to
work
in
her
lab.

 My
time
would
neither
have
been
so
enjoyable
nor
so
productive
without
the
many
people
who
I
worked
alongside
in
the
Infant
Studies
Centre,
in
particular
graduate
students
past
and
present:
Alison
Greuel,
Lily
May,
Whitney
“Roomie”
Weikum,
Henny
Yeung,
Katie
Yoshida,
and
post
docs:
Judit
Gervain,
Chandan
Narayan,
Ferran
Pons,
Laura
Sabourin,
and
Susan
Small.
Special
thanks
to
Tania
Zamuner
for
her
clarity
and
friendship,
and
to
Laurie
Fais
for
her
words
of
wisdom,
and
for
having
a
keen
eye
for
typos.
Christopher
Fennell
provided
excellent
guidance
from
my
first
day
in
the
lab,
and
continues
to
be
a
wonderful
colleague.
Invaluable
support
has
been
provided
by
many
undergraduate
student
volunteers,
lab
research
assistants,
and
technicians.
I
am
particularly
indebted
to
Moko
Chen,
in
whose
company
I
spent
many
Saturdays
testing
infants
and
toddlers,
to
Clarisa
Markel
for
her
unwavering
belief
in
me,
to
Marisa
Cruickshank
for
teaching
me
the
HAS
procedure,
to
Jacqueline
Chong
for
her
work
on
Chinese
translation
equivalents,
and
to
Ramesh
Thiruvengadaswamy
for
his
technical
expertise.
Mijke
Rhemtulla
contributed
much
to
my
intellectual
growth,
my
statistical
analyses,
and
my
sanity.
I
am
grateful
to
Azim
Shariff
for
insightful
discussions,
and
for
his
excellent
taste
in
work‐fueling
food
and
drink.
 
 ix
 The
work
presented
in
this
thesis
was
made
possible
by
financial
support
provided
by
the
National
Science
and
Engineering
Research
Council
of
Canada
(2006‐2008),
the
O’Brien
Foundation
(2008‐2009),
the
Canadian
Federation
of
University
Women
(2008‐2009),
and
the
Killam
Trust
(2008‐2010).
This
thesis
would
not
have
been
possible
without
the
many
parents
and
infants
who
participated
in
these
studies.
I
owe
you
my
deepest
thanks.
A
very
personal
nod
goes
to
my
mom,
dad,
and
sister
for
always
being
there.
Lastly,
Lionel
Bravard
deserves
special
recognition,
for
his
daily
support
of
all
of
my
endeavours.
 
 x
 Co­authorship
statement
The
ideas
presented
in
this
thesis
are
those
of
the
author,
developed
through
discussion
and
collaboration
with
supervisor
Dr.
Janet
F.
Werker.
This
body
of
research
was
conducted
with
the
invaluable
assistance
of
several
colleagues,
whose
contribution
is
reflected
in
the
author
line
of
each
of
the
papers
either
already
published
or
in
the
process
of
publication,
which
have
arisen
from
this
work.
The
reference
for
each
paper
is
provided
as
a
footnote
on
the
first
page
of
the
relevant
chapter.
For
the
research
reported
in
Chapter
2,
Study
1
was
initially
developed
by
Janet
F.
Werker,
and
data
collection
was
initially
coordinated
by
Tracey
C.
Burns.
Study
2
was
developed
by
the
author,
and
the
author
had
primary
responsibility
for
all
aspects
of
Study
2,
including
design,
data
collection
and
analysis,
and
interpretation
of
the
results.
The
author
subsequently
completed
further
data
collection
and
all
analysis
of
Study
1,
and
wrote
the
manuscript
that
included
both
Study
1
and
Study
2.
Tracey
C.
Burns
and
Janet
F.
Werker
contributed
to
improving
and
editing
the
manuscript.
For
chapters
3,
4,
and
5,
hypothesis
generation,
study
design,
data
collection,
data
analysis,
and
interpretation
of
results,
and
manuscript
preparation
were
completed
primarily
by
the
author
in
collaboration
with
and
under
the
supervision
of
Janet
F.
Werker.
Co‐author
Christopher
T.
Fennell
contributed
to
the
improving
and
editing
of
Chapter
3.
The
monolingual
and
bilingual
groups
reported
in
Study
1
of
Chapter
4
formed
a
thesis
for
the
degree
of
Master
of
Arts,
awarded
in
2006
to
the
author.
These
are
included
here
for
the
coherence
of
this
document,
and
to
provide
a
context
for
the
additional
data
included
in
this
Chapter
4.

 
 1
 1 Introduction
 1.1 General
overview

 Language
is
a
hallmark
of
the
human
species,
and
is
passed
unfalteringly
from
adults
to
infants
across
generations.
There
are
over
6900
different
living
languages
(Lewis,
2009)
which,
while
sharing
fundamental
structural
similarities,
vary
in
the
surface
form
by
which
ideas
are
communicated.
As
a
consequence,
human
infants
cannot
be
born
with
the
knowledge
of
any
particular
language,
but
rather
must
learn
the
specifics
of
their
native
language
over
the
first
few
years
of
life.
To
this
end,
it
is
necessary
for
infants
to
be
equipped
with
a
common
set
of
tools
for
perception
and
learning,
which
together
with
possible
innate
knowledge
or
predispositions,
have
the
flexibility
and
power
to
enable
the
acquisition
of
any
of
the
world’s
languages.

 How
far
does
this
preparedness
and
flexibility
for
language
learning
extend?
In
Canada,
individuals
from
more
than
half
a
million
households
report
speaking
more
than
one
language
regularly
(Statistics
Canada,
2006).
Thus,
many
babies
grow
up
hearing
two
languages
rather
than
one.
The
infant
capacity
for
language
acquisition
seems
to
extend
even
to
learning
two
languages
simultaneously
from
birth.
Beginning
from
the
first
empirical
examination
of
infant
bilingualism
nearly
100
years
ago
(Ronjat,
1913),
research
has
suggested
that
infants
can
successfully
acquire
two
languages
simultaneously
(De
Houwer,
1990;
Deuchar
&
Quay,
1999;
Yip
&
Matthews,
2007).
The
nature
of
bilinguals’
early
productions
indicates
success
across
both
languages
in
terms
of
conceptual,
vocabulary,
and
grammatical
development
(Genesee
&
Nicoladis,
2007;
Holowka,
Brosseau‐Lapre,
&
Petitto,
2002;
Meisel,
2001;
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1993;
Pearson
&
Fernández,
1994;
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1995;
Pearson,
Fernández,
Lewedeg,
&
Oller,
1997;
Pearson,
1998;
Petitto
et
al.,
2001).

 
 2
 
 Although
the
broad
strokes
of
monolingual
and
bilingual
development
are
highly
similar,
there
are
important
differences
between
the
challenges
faced
by
infants
growing
up
monolingual
and
those
faced
by
infants
growing
up
bilingual.
As
François
Grosjean
(1989)
aptly
observed,
“The
bilingual
is
not
two
monolinguals
in
one
person.”
Bilingual
infants
must
juggle
two
systems
for
communicating
about
the
world:
they
must
learn
two
sets
of
sounds,
two
words
to
name
every
concept,
and
two
grammars
with
which
to
order
these
words
into
meaningful
sentences.
While
they
encounter
these
two
languages,
they
must
constantly
discriminate
and
separate
the
languages
in
the
input,
in
order
to
learn
each
language
in
and
of
itself,
rather
than
an
amalgam
of
the
two.
Bilinguals
also
face
challenges
in
how
their
languages
interact
with
other
cognitive
systems.
For
example,
evidence
from
adults
suggests
that
the
bilingual’s
two
language
systems
interface
with
a
single
shared
conceptual
system
(Ameel,
Storms,
Malt,
&
Sloman,
2005),
which
adds
to
the
complexity
of
linking
up
words
and
concepts
in
vocabulary
acquisition.

 Elsewhere,
in
collaboration
with
Werker,
I
have
put
forward
the
idea
that
“the
human
mind
is
as
prepared
to
acquire
two
first
languages
as
it
is
to
acquire
one,”
(Werker
&
Byers‐Heinlein,
2008,
p.144).
However,
we
have
also
argued
that,
“the
same
proclivities
and
learning
mechanisms
that
support
language
acquisition
unfold
somewhat
differently
in
bilingual
versus
monolingual
environments,”
(Werker,
Byers‐Heinlein,
&
Fennell,
2009,
p.
3649).
This
thesis
presents
an
empirical
examination
of
these
propositions,
by
testing
how
the
tools
that
support
language
acquisition
develop
and
are
used
in
bilingual
as
opposed
to
monolingual
environments.
A
comparison
of
how
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
develop
and
use
tools
of
acquisition
given
their
different
early
language
environments
can
illuminate
the
nature
and
origins
of
the
tools
themselves.

 This
thesis
focuses
on
infants’
achievements
in
language
acquisition
in
the
first
two
years
of
life
including
1)
the
tuning
of
the
perceptual
system
to
the
characteristics
of
the
 
 3
 native
language,
and
2)
the
onset
of
word
learning.
Early
accomplishments
in
these
domains
set
the
stage
for
language
acquisition
throughout
childhood.
This
thesis
investigates
the
tools
that
propel
speech
perception
and
word
learning
during
the
first
two
years
of
life,
exploring
how
these
develop
similarly
or
differently
across
monolingual
and
bilingual
environments,
and
the
consequent
implications
for
theories
of
language
acquisition.
 1.2 Tools
for
speech
perception

 Whether
in
the
context
of
a
monolingual
or
of
a
bilingual
environment,
language
acquisition
is
rooted
in
infants’
perception
of
speech.
Newborn
infants
prefer
speech
sounds
over
non‐speech
(Vouloumanos,
Hauser,
Werker,
&
Martin,
2010;
Vouloumanos
&
Werker,
2007)
and
already
demonstrate
important
linguistic
capacities
such
as
the
categorical
perception
of
consonant
sounds
(Eimas,
Siqueland,
Jusczyk,
&
Vigorito,
1971).
The
tuning
of
these
early
predispositions
begins
as
infants
listen
to
their
native
language,
setting
the
stage
for
subsequent
linguistic
achievements
(Curtin
&
Werker,
2007;
Saffran,
Werker,
&
Werner,
2006;
Werker
&
Yeung,
2005).
Even
before
they
speak
their
first
words,
studies
have
demonstrated
that
monolingual
infants
are
already
aware
of
numerous
properties
of
the
native
language,
including
its
rhythm,
speech
sound
categories,
and
phonotactic
characteristics.
The
following
sections
will
review
the
early
achievements
of
infants
growing
up
bilingual
in
each
of
these
domains,
to
illuminate
early
links
between
bilingual
experience
and
the
tools
used
for
speech
perception.
 1.2.1 Tuning
to
the
native
languages.
In
order
to
learn
two
languages
simultaneously,
bilingual
infants
must
be
able
to
discriminate
amongst
different
languages,
and
eventually
separate
these
in
the
input
stream.
Early
perceptual
sensitivity
to
the
rhythmical
characteristics
of
different
languages
could
provide
a
foothold
into
language
separation
for
bilingual
infants.
Studies
with
infants
 
 4
 born
to
monolingual
French‐speaking
mothers
suggest
that
these
infants
possess
perceptually‐based
tools
to
discriminate
a
variety
of
language
pairs
from
birth,
although
not
all
language
pairs
are
discriminated
(Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Nazzi,
Bertoncini,
&
Mehler,
1998;
Ramus,
Hauser,
Miller,
Morris,
&
Mehler,
2000).
Successful
discrimination
of
two
languages
appears
to
relate
to
the
languages’
rhythmicities:
at
birth,
infants
can
discriminate
languages
that
are
from
two
different
rhythmic
classes
(e.g.
stress‐timed
English
from
syllable‐timed
French)
but
not
languages
that
are
from
the
same
rhythmic
class
(e.g.
English
and
German,
both
stress‐timed;
see
Ramus,
Nespor,
&
Mehler,
1999,
for
an
acoustic
typology
of
rhythmic
classes).
Even
at
2
months‐of‐age,
languages
from
the
same
rhythmic
class
may
not
be
discriminated
(Christophe
&
Morton,
1998).

 It
is
only
several
months
after
birth
that
infants
have
developed
the
tools
to
achieve
within‐rhythmic
class
distinctions,
and
here
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
have
been
studied.
By
age
5
months,
monolinguals
can
discriminate
language
pairs
from
within
the
rhythmic
class
of
the
native
language,
but
not
pairs
from
other
rhythmic
classes,
suggesting
increased
sensitivity
to
the
properties
of
the
native
language
(Nazzi,
Jusczyk,
&
Johnson,
2000).
Importantly,
bilingual
infants
exposed
to
rhythmically‐similar
languages
from
birth
show
discrimination
of
these
languages
as
early
as
4
months,
as
demonstrated
by
studies
of
the
discrimination
of
Spanish
and
Catalan
(both
syllable‐timed
languages)
by
bilingual
infants
exposed
to
these
two
languages
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2001).
Early
abilities
to
discriminate
rhythmically
distinct
languages,
and
later‐developing
abilities
to
make
fine‐grained
distinctions
between
rhythmically
similar
languages
that
are
native,
imply
that
bilingual
infants
have
the
tools
available
to
discriminate
any
language
pair
they
might
encounter.

 Auditory
language
discrimination
is
not
the
only
tool
available
to
infants
in
differentiating
between
different
languages.
Infants
are
also
sensitive
to
visual
correlates
 
 5
 that
distinguish
different
languages
(Weikum
et
al.,
2007).
When
the
stimuli
consist
of
silent
talking
faces
speaking
either
English
or
French,
at
4‐
and
6‐months‐of‐age,
both
monolingual
English‐learning
and
French‐English
bilingual
infants
can
discriminate
the
two
languages.
However,
at
8‐months‐of‐age
only
bilinguals
show
successful
discrimination,
while
monolinguals
fail.
This
pattern
of
results
is
thought
to
be
because
of
bilinguals’
ongoing
exposure
to
faces
speaking
each
language,
which
likely
maintains
the
tools
necessary
for
visual
language
discrimination.

 Experience
early
in
life
not
only
tunes
infants’
discrimination
abilities,
but
also
alters
their
perception
of
native
versus
unfamiliar
languages.
Studies
with
4‐month‐old
Catalan‐monolingual,
Spanish
monolingual,
and
Spanish‐Catalan
bilingual
infants
have
shown
that
infants
respond
differently
to
their
native
language(s)
as
compared
to
an
unfamiliar
language
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997).
Surprisingly,
the
effect
of
native
language
listening
has
been
shown
to
extend
to
the
newborn
period.
Moon
and
colleagues
(Moon,
Cooper,
&
Fifer,
1993)
compared
the
language
preference
(English
versus
Spanish)
in
newborn
infants
born
either
to
monolingual
English‐speaking
mothers
or
to
monolingual
Spanish‐speaking
mothers.
Both
groups
of
newborns
preferred
their
native
language
over
the
unfamiliar
one.
These
results
indicate
that,
at
least
in
the
case
of
monolingual
infants,
prenatal
language
experience
influences
speech
perception
at
birth,
and
serves
to
direct
infants’
attention
to
the
native
language.

 To
summarize,
by
at
least
age
4
months,
bilingual
infants
have
access
to
tools
that
enable
the
recognition
of
their
native
languages,
and
the
discrimination
of
different
language
pairs
both
in
the
auditory
and
visual
domains.
Evidence
from
monolingual
infants
suggests
that
prenatal
experience
with
the
native
language
can
influence
perception
at
birth,
but
no
studies
to
date
have
looked
at
speech
perception
in
newborns
with
prenatal
bilingual
experience.
Chapter
2
of
this
thesis
will
thus
examine
language
discrimination
and
 
 6
 language
preference
at
birth
in
bilingual
newborns.
Familiarity
with
both
languages,
together
with
access
to
tools
for
language
discrimination
might
be
an
important
precursor
to
subsequent
bilingual
development,
allowing
bilingual
babies
to
eventually
build
two
language
systems.

 1.2.2 Phonetic
development.
One
way
that
languages
differ
from
one
another
is
in
how
they
categorize
speech
sounds
(e.g.
English
makes
a
difference
between
the
/l/
and
/r/
sounds,
but
Japanese
does
not).
Before
they
begin
learning
words,
infants
must
come
to
know
what
speech
sound
variation
falls
within
the
same
category,
and
when
variation
marks
a
difference
between
two
categories.
Early
in
their
first
year,
monolingual
infants
discriminate
most
speech
sound
contrasts
present
in
the
world’s
languages,
and
their
perception
becomes
tuned
over
the
next
several
months
to
maintain
just
those
distinctions
that
are
phonemic
(signify
a
change
in
meaning)
in
the
native
language
(Werker
&
Tees,
1984).
Evidence
from
monolingual
infants
suggests
that
tools
for
tracking
the
distribution
of
speech
sounds
(Maye,
Weiss,
&
Aslin,
2008;
Maye,
Werker,
&
Gerken,
2002;
Vallabha,
McClelland,
Pons,
Werker,
&
Amano,
2007;
Werker
et
al.,
2007),
and
the
patterns
of
co‐occurrence
between
sounds
and
objects
(Yeung
&
Werker,
2009)
support
the
modification
of
speech
sound
categories.
Compared
to
monolinguals,
bilinguals
face
a
more
complicated
landscape
of
speech
sounds
(for
a
recent
review,
see
Curtin,
Werker,
&
Byers‐Heinlein,
under
review).
Depending
on
the
language
pairs
they
are
learning,
some
speech
sound
contrasts
are
phonemic
in
one
language,
but
not
in
the
other.
Further,
certain
speech
sound
categories
can
be
realized
differently
across
the
two
languages.
Bilingual
infants
face
the
challenging
task
of
maintaining
speech
sound
differences
that
are
meaningful
within
each
of
their
languages,
and
possibly
those
that
mark
differences
across
the
two
languages.
Although
 
 7
 studies
have
not
yet
directly
examined
whether
bilinguals
have
access
to
the
same
tools
as
monolinguals
for
phonetic
learning,
there
are
numerous
studies
showing
similar
timing
in
the
establishment
of
native
speech
sound
categories,
especially
for
consonants
(Burns,
Yoshida,
Hill,
&
Werker,
2007;
Sundara,
Polka,
&
Molnar,
2008).
Generally,
bilinguals
also
establish
native
vowels
categories
by
the
end
of
the
first
year
of
life
(Albareda‐Castellot,
Pons,
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
under
review;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2003;
Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2009),
although
certain
studies
suggest
that
some
close
vowel
contrasts
might
be
temporarily
collapsed
at
age
8‐months
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2003;
Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2009).
The
effects
of
bilingual
experience
on
phonetic
development
is
thus
roughly
parallel
to
the
effects
of
monolingual
experience,
serving
to
tune
the
system
to
differences
that
will
be
meaningful
as
the
infant
begins
to
learn
new
words.
 1.2.3 Phonotactic
development.
Related
to
the
development
of
speech
sound
categories
is
infants’
knowledge
of
the
order
in
which
these
speech
sounds
can
appear
in
a
word,
or
the
phonotactics
of
a
language.
Phonotactic
knowledge
is
an
important
precursor
to
word
learning.
Monolingual
infants
show
a
preference
for
phonotactically
legal
sequences
over
illegal
ones
(Jusczyk,
Luce,
&
Charles‐Luce,
1994).
Such
knowledge
of
phonotactic
regularities
can
help
infants
segment
words
from
the
speech
stream
(Mattys,
Jusczyk,
Luce,
&
Morgan,
1999;
Mattys
&
Jusczyk,
2001).
 Only
one
study
to
date
has
investigated
phonotactic
development
in
bilingual
infants.
In
a
study
with
10‐month‐olds,
monolingual
Spanish
and
monolingual
Catalan‐learning
infants
showed
greater
interest
in
sound
sequences
that
were
phonotactically
legal
over
those
that
were
phonotactically
illegal
in
the
native
language
(Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2002).
However,
when
Catalan‐Spanish
bilinguals
were
tested
on
Catalan
sequences,
only
those
infants
who
were
dominant
in
Catalan
showed
a
preference
for
the
legal
 
 8
 sequences
over
the
illegal
ones,
while
Spanish‐dominant
infants
did
not
show
this
preference.
Adult
bilingual
participants
showed
similar
effects
of
dominance.
These
results
suggest
that
the
tools
supporting
phonotactic
learning
may
require
a
threshold
of
sufficient
input,
which
may
not
be
met
in
the
bilingual’s
non‐dominant
language.
Less
robust
phonotactic
knowledge
in
the
non‐dominant
language
could
make
it
more
difficult
for
bilinguals
to
extract
words
from
the
speech
stream.
 1.3 Tools
for
word
learning

 Word
learning
is
a
multi‐faceted
process
that
builds
on
the
perceptual
sensitivities
discussed
above.
Infants
must
have
tools
that
enable
them
to
segment
words
from
the
speech
stream,
encode
sufficient
phonetic
detail
of
the
word,
and
eventually
link
this
word
form
to
its
referent,
even
in
referentially
ambiguous
contexts.
Further,
throughout
word
learning,
bilingual
infants
juggle
speech
sound
categories
from
two
languages,
and
words
that
come
from
different
languages.
Next,
I
will
review
the
literature
to
date
that
speaks
to
bilinguals’
early
successes
and
challenges
at
these
tasks.
 1.3.1 Word
form
recognition.

 Even
before
infants
begin
to
associate
words
with
their
referents,
they
start
to
pick
out
common
word
forms
that
occur
in
the
speech
stream
(Jusczyk,
1997,
1999).
Infants
are
thought
to
use
a
variety
of
tools
for
this
purpose.
Some
are
likely
useful
in
any
language
learning
context,
such
as
detecting
statistical
patterns
of
co‐occurrence
between
syllables
that
identify
statistically
coherent
words
(Aslin,
Saffran,
&
Newport,
1998;
Saffran,
Aslin,
&
Newport,
1996).
Other
tools
are
specific
to
a
particular
language,
such
as
lexical
stress
cues
that
mark
the
onset
of
many
words
in
English
(Cutler
&
Norris,
1988;
Thiessen
&
Saffran,
2003).
Several
studies
with
adults
have
indicated
that
language‐specific
segmentation
tools
are
only
available
in
the
bilinguals’
dominant
language,
and
not
in
their
non‐dominant
 
 9
 language.
(Cutler,
Mehler,
Norris,
&
Segui,
1989;
Dupoux,
Peperkamp,
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2010).
These
results,
together
with
the
finding
of
less
robust
phonotactic
knowledge
in
bilinguals’
non‐dominant
language
(Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2002),
suggest
that
bilingual
infants
might
have
difficulty
segmenting
words
from
their
non‐dominant
language,
making
word
form
learning
difficult.

 There
is
some
evidence
that
bilingual
infants
show
different
responses
to
word
forms
in
their
dominant
as
compared
to
in
their
non‐dominant
language.
In
a
study
of
19‐22
month‐old
Spanish‐English
bilinguals,
researchers
compared
infants’
brain
responses
(using
event‐related
potentials)
to
words
that
were
either
known
or
unknown
(Conboy
&
Mills,
2006).
Brain
responses
to
known
words
in
the
dominant
language
showed
a
left‐lateralized
response
that
was
highly
similar
to
that
of
same‐aged
monolingual
infants.
However,
responses
to
known
words
in
the
non‐dominant
language
were
later
in
latency,
and
less
lateralized.
These
results
suggest
an
important
difference
between
the
dominant
and
non‐dominant
language,
which
could
either
originate
in
differences
in
initial
segmentation
of
word
forms,
in
subsequent
encoding
of
the
segmented
words,
or
both.


 However,
a
study
of
younger
bilingual
infants
did
not
report
any
effects
of
dominance.
Vihman
and
colleagues
(Vihman,
Thierry,
Lum,
Keren‐Portnoy,
&
Martin,
2007)
tested
word
form
recognition
in
bilingual
English‐Welsh
learning
toddlers
using
both
behavioral
and
electrophysiological
measures.
At
age
11‐months,
infants
showed
behavioral
evidence
of
preferring
to
listen
to
words
that
are
frequent
in
the
input
over
infrequent
words.
Similarly,
in
an
event‐related
potential
version
of
the
study,
bilingual
infants
again
showed
a
brain
signature
characteristic
of
recognition
of
these
frequent
word
forms,
and
did
so
in
each
of
their
languages.
It
may
be
that
the
effects
of
dominance
are
not
yet
strong
enough
to
be
detected
at
this
young
age.
 
 10
 1.3.2 Associative
word
learning.

 Once
infants
have
extracted
a
candidate
word
form,
a
next
step
in
word
learning
is
to
link
this
word
with
its
referent.
An
important
distinction
is
to
be
made
between
word
learning
as
a
simple
association
between
a
word
and
a
particular
referent,
and
word
learning
as
full
referential
understanding
of
that
word.
Associative
word
learning
entails
a
simple
“goes
with”
relationship
between
word
and
object.
When
a
noun
is
known
in
an
associative
fashion,
its
meaning
is
specific
to
a
particular
instance
of
an
object
or
its
perceptual
properties,
and
generalizations
of
the
words’
meaning
are
not
made
to
other
objects
of
the
same
category.
Referential
word
learning
entails
a
deeper
understanding
of
a
word
as
a
symbol
for
an
object
category.
Words
that
have
been
learned
in
the
referential
sense
can
be
extended
to
new
instances
of
the
same
category,
and
can
be
shown
to
evoke
the
referent
even
when
it
is
not
present
(Bloom
&
Markson,
1998;
Preissler
&
Carey,
2004).
Some
have
argued
that
word
learning
changes
in
quality
over
the
second
year
of
life,
transitioning
from
being
characterized
by
associative
word
learning
to
later
being
referential
(Nazzi
&
Bertoncini,
2003),
while
others
have
argued
that
word
learning
even
in
early
infancy
entails
reference,
rather
than
mere
associations
(Waxman
&
Gelman,
2009).
Infants’
ability
to
associate
a
word
and
an
object
under
highly
controlled
conditions
has
often
been
measured
via
the
“Switch”
task
(Werker,
Cohen,
Lloyd,
Casasola,
&
Stager,
1998;
for
earlier
foundations
of
this
method
see
Younger
&
Cohen,
1986).
Success
in
the
Switch
task
requires
at
minimum
an
ability
to
form
an
associative
link
between
a
word
and
a
particular
object,
although
success
would
also
be
seen
if
infants
form
a
more
sophisticated
referential
link
between
the
word
and
the
category
that
the
object
instantiates.
In
the
Switch
task,
infants
repeatedly
see
two
word‐object
pairings.
Across
semi‐randomized
trials,
object
A
is
shown
moving
across
a
television
screen
accompanied
by
word
A,
and
object
B
is
similarly
shown
accompanied
by
word
B.
Presentation
continues
until
 
 11
 habituation
is
reached,
whereby
the
infant
shows
declined
interest
in
these
stimuli
as
measured
by
the
infant’s
looking
time
towards
the
screen.
At
test,
the
infant
sees
two
types
of
trials.
On
the
Same
trial,
the
infant
sees
a
pairing
that
was
shown
during
habituation,
e.g.
object
A‐word
A.
The
Same
trial
is
expected
to
be
relatively
uninteresting,
as
this
has
been
seen
repeatedly
during
habituation.
On
the
Switch
trial,
the
infant
sees
a
novel
pairing:
a
mismatched
combination
that
was
never
seen
before,
e.g.
object
A‐
word
B.
In
this
case,
both
the
object
itself
and
the
word
itself
are
familiar.
However,
what
is
novel
is
the
pairing
between
the
two.
Thus,
if
infants
have
successfully
associated
the
word
and
the
object,
they
will
be
surprised
by
this
novel
pairing
and
will
show
increased
visual
interest
towards
the
screen.

Studies
of
monolinguals
have
revealed
that
infants
can
succeed
at
the
Switch
task
by
age
14
months
when
the
two
words
are
dissimilar‐sounding,
like
lif
and
neem
(see
Curtin,
2009
for
evidence
of
success
in
the
Switch
task
at
12
months).
Surprisingly,
when
the
words
are
minimally
different
such
as
bih
and
dih,
monolingual
infants
only
succeed
at
17‐months‐of‐age
(Stager
&
Werker,
1997;
although
see
Thiessen,
2007;
Werker
et
al.,
1998;
Werker,
Fennell,
Corcoran,
&
Stager,
2002;
Yoshida,
Fennell,
Swingley,
&
Werker,
2009
for
conditions
under
which
monolinguals
do
succeed
at
14‐months).

 How
do
bilingual
infants
fare
in
the
Switch
task,
and
is
their
performance
similar
to
that
of
monolinguals
on
both
the
minimal‐pair
version
and
the
more
basic
version
that
tests
the
learning
of
dissimilar‐sounding
words?
Intertwining
sensitivities
to
sounds,
objects,
and
their
co‐occurrence
are
foundational
as
infants
begin
learning
new
words
and
building
their
vocabularies
(Yeung
&
Werker,
2009).
However,
bilinguals’
more
complex
phonetic
and
associative
environment
could
make
both
minimal‐pair
and
non‐minimal
pair
word
learning
more
challenging
for
these
infants.

 
 12
 The
learning
of
dissimilar‐sounding
words
by
bilinguals
has
been
largely
neglected
in
experimental
studies
of
bilingual
acquisition,
with
the
only
studies
to
date
investigating
bilinguals’
ability
to
learn
minimal‐pair
words.
For
example,
Fennell
and
colleagues
(Fennell,
Byers‐Heinlein,
&
Werker,
2007)
used
the
Switch
task
to
investigate
infants’
ability
to
learn
minimal
pair
words
bih
and
dih.
Stimuli
were
recorded
by
a
native
English
speaker.
While
monolinguals
successfully
associate
novel
labels
bih
and
dih
with
two
different
objects
at
17
months‐of‐age
(Stager
&
Werker,
1997),
bilinguals
from
three
different
backgrounds
(French‐English,
Chinese‐English,
and
a
heterogeneous
group
of
English‐other
bilinguals)
all
failed
at
this
same
age.
Only
at
20
months
did
bilingual
infants
show
success
at
minimal
pair
word
learning.

 Other
studies
of
minimal
pair
word
learning
provide
evidence
that
bilinguals
might
be
highly
sensitive
to
small
phonetic
cues
in
the
stimuli.
Mattock
and
colleagues
(Mattock,
Polka,
Rvachew,
&
Krehm,
2010)
tested
infants’
ability
to
learn
minimal
pair
words
bos
and
 gos,
but
varied
subtle
properties
of
the
stimuli.
Infants
heard
tokens
from
a
native
bilingual
adult
speaker
either
pronounced
in
a
French
manner,
an
English
manner,
or
in
a
manner
that
was
intermediate
between
the
English
and
French
pronunciations.
At
17
months‐of‐age,
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
succeeded
only
in
learning
minimal
pairs
that
were
produced
in
a
manner
corresponding
to
their
language
environment.
Monolingual
French‐learning
infants
succeeded
on
French
tokens,
but
failed
on
English
and
bilingual
tokens.
Monolingual
English‐learning
infants
succeeded
on
English
tokens
but
like
French
monolinguals
failed
on
the
bilingual
tokens.
However,
bilingual
French‐English
infants
did
succeed
on
the
bilingual
tokens.
Based
on
these
results,
it
is
possible
that
bilinguals’
failure
at
17‐months
in
Fennell
et
al.’s
study
(2007)
was
because
the
tokens
used
were
pronounced
in
an
English
manner.
However,
because
the
two
studies
used
different
minimal
pair
words,
it
is
difficult
to
fully
compare
their
results
before
more
empirical
work
is
done.

 
 13
 There
is
a
further
reason
why
it
is
difficult
to
draw
strong
conclusions
about
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants’
different
patterns
of
performance
on
the
minimal
pair
Switch
task.
Minimal
pair
word
learning
engages
at
least
two
tools
of
language
acquisition
simultaneously:
a
perceptual
ability
that
supports
infants’
detection
and
encoding
of
the
fine
phonetic
detail
present
in
the
minimal
pair
words,
and
an
associative
tool
that
allows
them
to
link
these
minimal
pair
words
with
two
different
objects.
No
study
to
date
has
pulled
these
two
tools
apart
in
bilingual
infants.
Monolinguals’
learning
of
minimal
pair
words
can
be
contrasted
with
their
earlier
success
at
learning
dissimilar‐soundings
words.
However,
as
mentioned
above,
bilinguals
have
not
yet
been
tested
in
the
Switch
task
on
dissimilar‐sounding
words,
thus
it
is
unknown
whether
part
of
the
difficulty
with
minimal
pairs
results
from
an
intertwined
difficulty
with
general
associative
word
learning.
Chapter
3
of
this
thesis
will
present
data
on
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
at
2
ages
(12‐
and
14‐months)
to
determine
whether
this
fundamental
tool
for
word
learning
develops
on
the
same
schedule
in
these
two
groups,
by
using
the
Switch
task
to
test
the
learning
of
dissimilar‐sounding
words.
 1.3.3 Word
learning
heuristics.
In
the
Switch
task,
infants
are
provided
with
reasonably
unambiguous
cues
as
to
the
referent
of
the
novel
word;
during
habituation
there
is
only
ever
a
single
object
onscreen
which
is
always
presented
with
the
same
word.
However,
in
real
life
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
both
encounter
word‐learning
situations
in
which
the
referent
of
a
particular
word
is
not
clear.
In
Quine’s
(1960)
famous
Gavagai
tale,
a
speaker
of
a
foreign
language
points
to
a
rabbit
scurrying
across
a
field
and
says
“Gavagai!”
What
should
an
English‐speaking
linguist
watching
this
scene
take
the
word
gavagai
to
mean?
There
are
many
reasonable
hypotheses:
it
could
mean
a
rabbit,
an
animal,
or
the
colour
white.
There
are
also
many
hypotheses
that
somehow
seem
less
reasonable,
for
example
that
gavagai
refers
 
 14
 to
“undetached
rabbit
parts”.
Children
do
not
consider
all
possibilities
equally,
but
rather
show
systematic
biases
and
heuristics
in
their
interpretation
of
novel
words
(e.g.
Golinkoff,
Mervis,
&
Hirsh‐Pasek,
1994;
Landau,
Smith,
&
Jones,
1988;
Markman
&
Hutchinson,
1988;
Markman,
1989;
Soja,
Carey,
&
Spelke,
1991).
One
word
learning
heuristic
that
children
use
as
they
narrow
down
the
referent
of
a
novel
word
is
disambiguation
(Merriman
&
Schuster,
1991).
As
early
as
16‐17
months‐of‐age,
monolingual
infants
can
disambiguate
the
meaning
of
a
novel
label
by
assuming
it
refers
to
a
novel
object,
rather
than
to
a
familiar
one
(Halberda,
2003;
Markman,
Wasow,
&
Hansen,
2003).
One
explanation
for
the
origin
of
this
heuristic
is
that
children
have
a
default
assumption
that
object
labels
are
mutually
exclusive,
and
thus
avoid
mapping
the
second
label
onto
the
familiar
object
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988).
However,
there
are
other
competing
accounts
of
disambiguation,
including
socio‐pragmatic
reasoning
(Clark,
1990;
Clark,
1992;
Diesendruck
&
Markson,
2001;
Diesendruck,
2005),
and
a
direct
motivation
to
map
the
novel
label
to
the
novel
object
rather
than
an
avoidance
of
a
second
label
for
the
familiar
object
(Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994;
Momen
&
Merriman,
2002).
How
useful
is
disambiguation
in
the
bilingual
context?
If
bilinguals
operate
under
an
assumption
of
mutual
exclusivity,
they
might
fail
to
learn
two
words
for
the
same
object
even
if
the
words
are
in
different
languages.
On
the
other
hand,
if
disambiguation
is
motivated
by
a
tendency
to
map
novelty
to
novelty,
there
is
no
reason
why
it
should
differ
across
monolinguals
and
bilinguals.
Some
investigations
of
disambiguation
have
tested
whether
bilinguals
might
therefore
be
less
likely
to
use
disambiguation
and
related
behaviors
than
monolinguals
and
there
has
been
some
support
for
this
prediction
in
studies
of
preschoolers
and
school‐aged
children
(Davidson,
Jergovic,
Imami,
&
Theodos,
1997;
Diesendruck,
2005;
Houston‐Price,
Caloghiris,
&
Raviglione,
2010;
Merriman
&
Kutlesic,
1993;
but
see
also
Au
&
Glusman,
1990;
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002).
 
 15
 Rather
than
bilingual
experience
changing
an
in‐built
bias
like
mutual
exclusivity,
it
may
be
that
early
bilingual
experience
alters
whether
and
how
word
learning
heuristics
like
disambiguation
develop
(see
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010,
for
a
recent
contribution).
Chapters
4
and
5
will
thus
compare
how
early
use
of
disambiguation
differs
in
infants
from
monolingual
and
bilingual
backgrounds.
An
examination
of
whether
bilingual
experience
influences
the
development
of
disambiguation
can
illuminate
the
developmental
origins
of
disambiguation,
and
what
type
of
experience
is
necessary
for
its
emergence.
 1.3.4 Word
comprehension.
As
described
above,
infants
have
word
learning
tools
available
to
help
them
figure
out
the
reference
of
a
novel
word,
and
to
form
an
association
between
a
word
and
its
referent.
However,
once
stored
in
memory,
infants
must
be
able
to
retrieve
the
meaning
of
a
word.
This
is
the
task
faced
by
infants
in
word
recognition.
One
published
study
to
date
has
investigated
how
bilingual
infants
recognize
the
referents
of
familiar
words.
Spanish‐Catalan
bilinguals
were
tested
on
how
a
mispronunciation
of
familiar
a
word
would
affect
infants’
word
recognition
(Ramon‐Casas,
Swingley,
Sebastián‐Gallés,
&
Bosch,
2009).
Mispronunciations
involved
a
substitution
of
/e/
for
/ε/
or
vice
versa,
a
change
which
is
meaningful
in
Spanish
but
not
in
Catalan.
Bilinguals
who
were
dominant
in
Catalan
behaved
like
Catalan
monolinguals,
and
were
hindered
in
recognizing
words
that
had
been
mispronounced.
Bilinguals
who
were
dominant
in
Spanish
showed
no
effect
of
the
mispronunciation,
a
pattern
also
shown
by
Spanish
monolinguals.
This
latter
result
was
surprising,
as
even
for
Spanish‐dominant
bilinguals,
the
existence
of
this
contrast
in
one
of
their
languages
should
have
led
infants
to
detect
the
mispronunciation.
On
a
control
task
that
involved
a
mispronunciation
that
was
phonemic
in
both
languages,
bilinguals
did
detect
the
mispronunciation,
indicating
that
the
original
result
was
not
due
to
an
overall
decrease
in
sensitivity
to
sound
contrasts
in
word
 
 16
 recognition
tasks.
Thus,
bilingual
infants
have
the
tools
necessary
for
the
general
task
of
word
recognition,
but
as
in
the
case
of
minimal
pair
words,
might
face
challenges
in
using
subtle
phonetic
information.
Chapters
4
and
5
will
capitalize
on
the
availability
of
familiar
word
recognition
tools
to
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants,
by
using
familiar
word
recognition
as
a
control
task
from
which
to
compare
infants’
ability
to
disambiguate
novel
words.
 1.4 Thesis
rationale
Studying
infants
growing
up
in
bilingual
environments
provides
a
fascinating
opportunity
to
examine
how
the
tools
of
language
acquisition
develop
across
different
early
language
contexts.
Monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
face
different
types
of
language
learning
challenges,
yet
achieve
language
milestones
on
the
same
schedule.
This
thesis
will
investigate
tools
of
language
acquisition
at
3
different
ages
in
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants.

 Chapter
2
investigates
language
acquisition
tools
that
might
be
available
from
the
first
days
of
life,
and
explores
how
prenatal
experience
with
two
languages
affects
their
use.
Two
sets
of
studies
investigate
1)
language
preference
in
newborn
infants
as
evidence
of
prenatal
learning
about
the
native
languages
and
2)
the
bilingual
infants’
ability
to
maintain
discrimination
of
their
native
languages.
Effects
of
prenatal
bilingual
experience
would
push
back
the
clock
on
the
youngest
age
at
which
bilingualism
has
been
shown
to
affect
speech
perception
(previously
4
months;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2001),
and
will
identify
perceptual
capabilities
that
are
robust
across
different
early
language
environments.

Chapter
3
moves
from
the
influence
of
bilingualism
on
speech
perception
to
the
influence
of
bilingualism
on
a
fundamental
tool
that
supports
word
learning:
the
ability
to
associate
words
and
objects.
Monolinguals
and
bilinguals
will
be
tested
at
12‐
and
14‐ 
 17
 months‐of‐age
to
establish
the
developmental
trajectory
of
infants’
associative
word
learning
abilities.
Chapters
4
and
5
ask
how
bilingualism
might
affect
later‐developing
tools
of
word
learning,
in
particular
infants’
use
of
the
disambiguation
word
learning
heuristic
at
age
18‐months.
Chapter
4
evaluates
whether
the
schedule
of
emergence
of
disambiguation
is
the
same
across
monolingual,
bilingual,
and
trilingual
infants.
This
chapter
demonstrates
that
the
specific
nature
of
the
language
environment
can
affect
the
development
of
word
learning
tools.
Chapter
5
builds
on
the
findings
of
Chapter
4,
in
an
attempt
to
establish
what
aspect
of
the
multilingual
environment
changes
the
development
of
disambiguation
in
these
infants
relative
to
monolinguals.

 Chapter
6
provides
a
discussion
of
the
findings
of
the
preceding
chapters,
pointing
to
the
contributions
they
make
to
the
fields
of
language
acquisition
and
bilingualism,
discussing
both
strengths
and
limitations
of
the
research,
and
suggesting
directions
of
future
inquiry.
 
 18
 
 1.5 References
 Albareda‐Castellot,
B.,
Pons,
F.,
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
N.
(under
review).
Acquisition
of
phonetic
categories
in
bilingual
infants.
 Ameel,
E.,
Storms,
G.,
Malt,
B.
C.,
&
Sloman,
S.
A.
(2005).
How
bilinguals
solve
the
naming
problem.
Journal
of
Memory
and
Language,
53(1),
60‐80.
doi:10.1016/j.jml.2005.02.004
 Aslin,
R.
N.,
Saffran,
J.
R.,
&
Newport,
E.
L.
(1998).
Computation
of
conditional
probability
statistics
by
8‐month‐old
infants.
Psychological
Science,
9(4),
321‐324.
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T.
K.,
&
Glusman,
M.
(1990).
The
principle
of
mutual
exclusivity
in
word
learning:
To
honor
or
not
to
honor?
Child
Development,
61(5),
1474‐1490.
doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2005.03.007
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P.,
&
Markson,
L.
(1998).
Capacities
underlying
word
learning.
Trends
in
Cognitive
 Science,
2(2),
67‐73.
doi:
10.1111/1467‐9280.00038
 Bosch,
L.,
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
N.
(2001).
Early
language
differentiation
in
bilingual
infants.
In
J.
Cenoz,
&
F.
Genesee
(Eds.),
Trends
in
bilingual
acquisition.
(pp.
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doi:10.1111/j.1467‐7687.2007.00549.x
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 Yip,
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 Yoshida,
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 31
 2 The
roots
of
bilingualism
in
newborns1

 2.1 Introduction
The
human
affinity
for
language
begins
at
or
before
birth.
Neonates
show
many
perceptual
sensitivities
that
are
important
for
language
acquisition
(Gervain
&
Werker,
2008).
In
monolingual
acquisition,
infants
must
detect
and
learn
the
regularities
that
characterize
a
single
language.
In
bilingual
acquisition,
infants
must
simultaneously
detect
and
learn
the
regularities
of
each
of
two
languages.
This
requires
recognizing
both
languages
as
native
while
continuing
to
discriminate
them.
What
tools
do
neonates
have
available
to
negotiate
a
bilingual
environment?
To
break
into
two
languages
and
bootstrap
acquisition,
one
source
of
information
that
bilingual
infants
might
use
is
rhythmicity
(Mehler,
Dupoux,
Nazzi,
&
Dehaene‐Lambertz,
1996).
Traditionally,
the
world’s
languages
have
been
classified
into
three
rhythmic
classes:
stress‐timed
(e.g.,
Dutch),
syllable‐timed
(e.g.,
French),
and
mora‐timed
(e.g.,
Japanese).
Ramus,
Nespor,
and
Mehler
(1999)
identified
two
acoustic
dimensions
that
correlate
with
rhythmic‐class
distinctions:
the
standard
deviation
of
the
duration
of
consonantal
intervals
within
each
sentence
(ΔC)
and
the
proportion
of
vocalic
intervals
(i.e.,
vowels)
within
each
sentence
(%V;
see
Grabe
&
Low,
2002,
for
an
alternate
measurement
scheme).
Studies
have
revealed
that
although
categorical
divisions
are
useful,
languages
fall
somewhat
continuously
along
these
dimensions
(see
Figure
2.1).

 





























 





























 
1
A
version
of
this
chapter
has
been
accepted
for
publication.
Byers‐Heinlein,
K.,
Burns,
T.
C.,
&
Werker,
J.
F.
(2010).
The
roots
of
bilingualism
in
newborns.
Psychological
Science,
21,
343‐348.
 
 32
 Figure
2.1
Mean
location
of
languages
in
the
(%V,
ΔC)
plane.
 
 Research
has
demonstrated
the
importance
of
rhythmicity
in
early
language
processing.
Newborn
infants
exposed
to
only
a
single
language
prenatally
show
greater
interest
in
their
native
language
than
in
an
unfamiliar
language
from
a
different
rhythmic
class
(Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Moon,
Cooper,
&
Fifer,
1993).
Preferential
attention
to
the
native
language
shows
an
early
effect
of
learning
on
language
processing,
either
during
prenatal
 
 33
 development
or
immediately
after
birth2.
Studies
also
show
that
monolingual
neonates
can
discriminate
two
languages
from
different
rhythmic
classes
even
if
both
are
unfamiliar
but
typically
fail
at
discriminating
languages
within
the
same
class
(Ramus,
Hauser,
Miller,
Morris,
&
Mehler,
2000;
Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Nazzi,
Bertoncini,
&
Mehler,
1998;
Ramus,
2002).
These
findings
are
understood
as
evidence
that
although
language
preference
is
learned
through
experience,
the
ability
to
discriminate
languages
from
different
rhythmic
classes
is
an
evolutionarily
deep
perceptual
bias
that
operates
independently
of
learning
(Ramus,
et
al.,
2000).
Moreover,
it
has
been
asserted
that
the
ability
to
discriminate
languages
is
foundational
to
bilingual
acquisition
(Nazzi
et
al.,
1998).
No
studies
to
date,
however,
have
actually
tested
either
language
preference
or
language
discrimination
in
neonates
with
prenatal
bilingual
exposure.
Here,
we
provide
the
first
empirical
test
of
the
hypothesis
that
the
same
initial
perceptual
biases
and
early
learning
mechanisms
that
underlie
monolingual
acquisition
operate
in
the
bilingual
neonate
to
propel
bilingual
acquisition.
To
test
this
hypothesis,
we
explored
the
earliest
foundations
of
two
capacities
crucial
to
bilingual
acquisition.
We
compared
preference
for
(Study
1)
and
discrimination
of
(Study
2)
English
and
Tagalog
(languages
from
different
rhythmic
classes)
in
bilingual
newborns,
whose
mothers
spoke
both
languages
regularly
during
pregnancy,
with
those
of
 monolingual
newborns,
whose
mothers
spoke
only
English
during
pregnancy.
Although
it
could
be
the
case
that
infants
only
gradually
develop
the
skills
to
negotiate
a
bilingual
environment
(Arnberg
&
Arnberg,
1985),
our
results
demonstrate
that
from
birth,
the
recognition
and
discrimination
skills
that
support
monolingual
acquisition
also
support
bilingual
acquisition.
 





























 





























 
2
It
is
difficult
if
not
impossible
to
separate
the
influence
of
prenatal
experience
from
the
possible
effects
of
very
early
postnatal
experience.
However,
given
the
much
greater
amount
of
prenatal
as
compared
to
postnatal
listening,
we
have
highlighted
prenatal
experience
throughout
this
paper.
 
 34
 2.2 Study
1a
No
previous
studies
have
investigated
language
preference
in
bilingual
neonates.
While
monolingual
neonates
orient
more
toward
their
native
language
than
toward
an
unfamiliar
language
in
preferential
listening
tasks,
for
optimal
learning,
infants
growing
up
bilingual
should
orient
to
both
of
their
native
languages.
To
investigate
the
impact
of
prenatal
experience
on
language
preference
at
birth,
we
tested
newborn
infants
for
their
preference
for
syllable‐timed
Tagalog
(a
major
language
of
the
Philippines;
Bird,
Fais,
&
Werker,
2005),
relative
to
English,
a
stress‐timed
language
(Ramus
et
al.,
1999;
see
Figure
2.1).
Two
groups
of
neonates
were
tested:
English
monolinguals
(whose
mothers
spoke
only
English
during
pregnancy)
and
Tagalog‐English
bilinguals
(whose
mothers
spoke
both
English
and
Tagalog
regularly
during
pregnancy).
We
expected
that
monolinguals
would
be
significantly
less
interested
in
Tagalog
than
in
English,
as
Tagalog
was
unfamiliar
(Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Moon
et
al.,
1993).
The
previously
untested
prediction
was
that
bilinguals
would
be
interested
in
both
of
their
native
languages.
 2.2.1 Method.
Testing
was
conducted
at
a
maternity
hospital
in
Vancouver,
British
Columbia,
Canada,
a
multicultural
city
where
English
is
the
majority
language
but
many
other
languages
are
widely
used.3
Thirty
newborn
infants
(0–5
days
old),
half
from
monolingual
English
backgrounds
and
half
from
bilingual
Tagalog‐English
backgrounds
(henceforth
called
Tagalog
bilinguals)
completed
the
study.4
Mothers
of
Tagalog
bilinguals
reported
speaking
each
language
30%
to
70%
of
the
time.

 





























 





























 
3
See
Appendix
1
for
University
of
British
Columbia
Research
Ethics
Board
approval
certificate
for
the
studies
reported
in
this
paper.
4
Data
were
excluded
from
an
additional
28
infants
in
Study
1
(preference),
and
87
infants
in
Study
2
(discrimination)
because
of
crying
(12
preference/27
discrimination),
falling
asleep/stopping
sucking
(12/31),
experimenter
or
technical
error
(3/3),
spitting
out
the
rubber
nipple
(1/5),
high
 
 35
 Stimuli
were
sentences
matched
for
pitch,
duration,
and
number
of
syllables.
They
were
recorded
from
native
English
and
native
Tagalog
speakers
and
low‐pass
filtered
to
a
cutoff
of
400
Hz,
to
remove
surface
segmental
cues
while
preserving
rhythmicity.
Infants
were
tested
using
a
high‐amplitude
sucking‐preference
procedure,
which
capitalizes
on
newborns’
sucking
reflex.
Newborns
sucked
on
a
rubber
nipple
and
were
played
a
sentence
contingently
on
producing
a
suck
in
the
upper
80%
of
their
sucking
range,
as
calculated
by
the
computer
during
an
initial
silent
baseline
minute.
Infants
were
presented
with
10
minutes
of
speech,
alternating
each
minute
between
English
and
Tagalog.
Four
different
English
and
four
different
Tagalog
sentences
were
used,
recorded
from
three
native
English
and
three
native
Tagalog
speakers.
The
order
of
the
two
languages
was
counterbalanced.
To
assess
preference,
the
number
of
high‐amplitude
sucks
produced
during
Tagalog
minutes
versus
English
minutes
was
compared.
 2.2.2 Results.
A
preference
score
was
computed
for
each
infant,
as
the
difference
in
the
average
number
of
high‐amplitude
sucks
produced
during
Tagalog
minutes
minus
those
produced
during
English
minutes
(see
Figure
2.2).
One
English
monolingual
and
one
Tagalog
bilingual
outlier,
whose
preference
scores
were
more
than
2
SDs
from
their
group’s
mean,
were
removed.5
Preliminary
analyses
suggested
heterogeneity
among
group
variances,
Levene’s
 F(1,
26)
=
4.87,
p
=.036;
therefore,
subsequent
analyses
used
Welch’s
correction.
This
correction
often
yields
noninteger
estimates
of
degrees
of
freedom.


 





























 





























 





























 





























 





























 





























 
amplitude
sucks
during
<2
test
minutes
(0/10),
failure
to
habituate
(0/6),
parental/hospital
staff
interference
(0/4),
and
hiccups
(0/1).
5
Including
these
infants
yielded
the
same
pattern
of
results.
 
 36
 Figure
2.2
Individual
preference
scores
and
group
averages
for
monolingual
English,
Chinese
bilingual,
and
Tagalog
bilingual
infants
in
Studies
1a
and
1b
(preference).
 
 To
determine
whether
the
groups
could
be
characterized
as
having
significant
absolute
preference
for
one
language
over
the
other,
two‐tailed
one‐sample
t
tests
were
conducted,
comparing
infants’
preference
scores
with
zero.
Monolingual
English
infants
were
significantly
less
interested
in
Tagalog
than
in
English,
t(13)
=
–3.44,
p
=
.004.
Tagalog
bilinguals
did
not
show
a
significant
preference
for
either
language,
t(13)
=
1.76,
p
=
.103.
To
directly
compare
the
performance
of
the
two
groups,
a
planned
directional
comparison
 
 37
 of
infants’
difference
scores
was
conducted.
Relative
to
their
interest
in
English,
English
monolinguals
had
significantly
less
interest
in
Tagalog
than
did
Tagalog
bilinguals,
t(18.8)
=
3.08,
p
=
.003.
 2.2.3 Discussion.

 The
results
of
this
study
demonstrate
that
prenatal
bilingual
exposure
affects
infants’
preferences.
English
monolingual
newborns
were
less
interested
in
Tagalog
than
in
English,
but
Tagalog
bilinguals
were
similarly
interested
in
their
two
native
languages.
Bilinguals’
attention
to
both
languages
is
consistent
with
their
having
learned
about
two
languages
prenatally.

A
counter
explanation
consistent
with
these
data
would
be
that
Tagalog
bilinguals
recognized
neither
language
as
native.
Because
bilinguals’
time
is
divided
between
two
languages,
their
experience
with
each
language
may
have
been
insufficient
to
have
an
effect
on
perception.
The
insufficient‐experience
explanation
leads
to
a
clear
prediction:
regardless
of
the
particular
native
languages,
any
group
of
bilingual
newborns
will
show
the
same
pattern
of
language
preference.
Conversely,
evidence
that
two
groups
of
bilingual
newborns
demonstrate
different
patterns
of
preference
would
support
the
position
that
bilingual
newborns
have
had
sufficient
experience
to
learn
about
each
language
prenatally.

 2.3 Study
1b

 To
directly
test
the
insufficient‐experience
explanation,
we
sought
a
second
group
of
bilingual
newborns
to
evaluate
on
their
preference
for
Tagalog
versus
English.
Because
English
was
a
common
language
to
the
two
groups
tested
in
Study
1a,
it
was
necessary
to
find
another
group
of
bilinguals
who
had
heard
English
prenatally.
Chinese‐English
bilinguals
were
such
a
group
that
was
available
in
our
community.

 
 38
 Similarities
and
differences
between
Tagalog
and
Chinese
make
Chinese‐English
bilinguals
an
interesting
test
case.
Both
Chinese
(Mandarin
and
Cantonese)
and
Tagalog
have
been
classified
within
the
larger
typological
category
of
syllable‐timed
languages
(Bird
et
al.,
2005;
Lin
&
Wang,
2007;
Mok,
in
press).
But
as
shown
in
Figure
2.1,
Tagalog
and
Chinese
show
rhythmical
differences,
and
there
is
evidence
that
4‐month‐old
bilingual
infants
are
sensitive
to
intraclass
differences
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997,
2001).
Further,
Chinese
is
characterized
by
lexical
tone
(perceptible
by
adults
even
in
filtered
speech;
Fu,
Zeng,
Shannon,
&
Soli,
1998),
whereas
Tagalog
is
not.
Overall,
we
expected
that
Tagalog
would
be
somewhat,
although
not
completely,
familiar
to
the
Chinese
bilingual
infants.
Thus,
because
Tagalog
is
neither
completely
novel
(as
it
is
to
English
monolinguals)
nor
completely
familiar
(as
it
is
to
Tagalog
bilinguals),
we
predicted
that
Chinese
bilingual
infants
would
show
a
preference
intermediate
to
the
preference
shown
by
the
two
other
groups
and
statistically
different
from
each
of
them.
 2.3.1 Method.

 Fourteen
neonates
whose
mothers
spoke
both
English
and
Chinese
(Cantonese,
Mandarin,
or
in
two
cases
both)
regularly
during
pregnancy
were
tested
for
their
preference
for
Tagalog
versus
English,
in
a
procedure
identical
to
that
used
in
Study
1a.

 2.3.2 Results
and
discussion.
The
results
demonstrated
that
Chinese
bilingual
neonates
did
not
show
an
outright
preference
for
either
English
or
Tagalog,
t(13)
=
–0.49,
p
=
.63.
As
predicted,
however,
these
infants
showed
a
pattern
of
preference
distinct
from
that
of
either
English
monolinguals
or
Tagalog
bilinguals.
Planned
directional
comparisons
showed
that
their
interest
in
Tagalog
relative
to
English
was
greater
than
that
of
English
monolinguals,
t(25.5)
=
1.89,
p
=
.035,
but
less
than
that
of
Tagalog
bilinguals,
t(20.4)
=
1.77,
p
=
.046.
Therefore,
relative
to
their
 
 39
 interest
in
English,
Chinese
bilingual
infants
were
less
interested
in
Tagalog
than
were
Tagalog
bilingual
infants
(for
whom
Tagalog
was
native)
but
more
interested
in
Tagalog
than
were
English
monolingual
infants
(for
whom
Tagalog
shares
few
similarities
with
the
native
language).
These
results
demonstrate
that
bilingual
newborns’
language
preference
is
affected
by
the
specific
languages
they
heard
before
birth,
indicating
that
bilingual
newborns
have
indeed
learned
about
both
their
native
languages
prenatally.
 2.4 Study
2

 Study
1
demonstrated
that
by
birth,
bilingual
neonates
have
already
learned
about
their
two
languages
and,
like
monolinguals,
use
this
information
to
direct
their
attention.
However,
to
successfully
acquire
the
structures
of
two
languages,
bilingual
infants
must
also
separate
and
discriminate
these
languages.
A
possible
interpretation
of
the
results
of
Study
1a
is
that
experience
with
two
languages
can
overwrite
the
perceptual
biases
that
facilitate
language
discrimination
and
that
Tagalog
bilingual
neonates
have
no
preference
because
they
lump
English
and
Tagalog
into
a
broad
class
of
familiar
language
sounds.

Previous
research
supports
the
idea
that
any
newborn
can
discriminate
two
languages
as
long
as
the
languages
are
from
different
rhythmic
classes
(Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Nazzi
et
al.,
1998;
Ramus,
2002).
However,
systematic
studies
have
not
been
conducted
to
date
with
bilingual
newborns.
Because
monolinguals
are
familiar
with
only
one
language,
discrimination
of
any
particular
language
pair
involves
either
discriminating
a
rhythmically
familiar
language
from
an
unfamiliar
one
or
discriminating
two
rhythmically
unfamiliar
languages.
For
bilingual
infants,
successful
acquisition
requires
their
discrimination
of
two
familiar
languages,
a
potentially
challenging
and
as
yet
untested
task.
 
 40
 2.4.1 Method.
To
investigate
whether
newborns
with
prenatal
bilingual
experience
discriminate
their
native
languages,
Study
2
tested
50
newborn
infants
for
their
discrimination
of
English
and
Tagalog
in
a
high‐amplitude
sucking
habituation
procedure.
As
in
Study
1a,
newborns
from
a
Tagalog‐English
bilingual
background
were
compared
with
newborns
from
a
monolingual
English
background.
Infants
were
habituated
to
either
4
English
or
4
Tagalog
low‐pass
filtered
sentences
(counterbalanced)
until
sucking
declined,
such
that
the
number
of
high
amplitude
sucks
across
a
two‐minute
window
was
at
least
25%
fewer
than
that
produced
in
the
previous
minute.
Infants
habituated
in
an
average
of
7
minutes
(range:
5‐15;
not
different
across
groups,
F(2,47)=.49,
p=.62).
At
test,
infants
in
the
experimental
group
heard
2
novel
sentences
from
a
new
speaker
in
the
other
language
(N=32;
16
monolingual,
16
bilingual
infants)
for
4
minutes.
To
rule
out
spontaneous
recovery
(Jeffrey
&
Cohen,
1971),
a
control
group
(N=18;
monolinguals)
heard
2
novel
sentences
from
a
new
speaker
in
the
same
language.
Bilingual
controls
were
not
tested,
as
spontaneous
recovery
is
not
expected
to
differ
across
groups.
If
infants
can
discriminate
the
languages,
then
those
in
the
experimental
condition
should
show
increased
sucking
at
test,
while
those
in
the
control
condition
should
not.
 2.4.2 Results
and
discussion.

 Both
English
monolingual
and
Tagalog
bilingual
infants
discriminated
between
the
two
languages
(see
Figure
2.3).
The
number
of
high‐amplitude
sucks
was
computed
in
three
blocks:
last
two
habituation
minutes,
first
two
test
minutes,
and
second
two
test
minutes.
Preliminary
analyses
showed
no
effects
or
interactions
with
test
order
(English
first
vs.
Tagalog
first).
A
mixed
3
(block)
×
2
(condition:
control,
experimental)
analysis
of
variance
(ANOVA)
showed
a
significant
Block
×
Condition
interaction,
F(2,
96)
=
3.20,
p
=
.045.
A
 
 41
 follow‐up
repeated
measures
ANOVA
showed
that
in
the
control
group,
sucking
did
not
differ
as
a
function
of
block,
F(2,
34)
=
2.04,
p
=
.15.
In
the
experimental
group,
a
similar
ANOVA
with
an
additional
factor
of
exposure
group
(English
monolingual,
Tagalog
bilingual)
showed
a
significant
effect
of
block,
F(2,
60)
=
4.64,
p
=
.013,
but
no
Block
×
Exposure
Group
interaction,
F(2,
60)
=
0.40,
p
=
.67.
Planned
directional
t
tests
compared
sucking
in
the
final
habituation
block
with
the
average
across
the
four
test
minutes
(both
test
blocks).
Both
English
monolingual
infants,
t(15)
=
2.00,
p
=
.032,
and
Tagalog
bilingual
infants,
t(15)
=
1.99,
p
=
.033,
showed
a
significant
recovery
of
sucking
during
test.
Tagalog
bilingual
infants,
then,
were
still
able
to
discriminate
their
two
languages,
despite
having
shown
similar
preference
for
the
languages
in
Study
1a.


 
 42
 Figure
2.3
Number
of
high
amplitude
sucks
per
minute
across
experimental
blocks
for
the
control
and
experimental
(monolingual
English
and
Tagalog
bilingual
exposure)
groups
in
Study
2
(discrimination).
 
 2.5 General
discussion
Previous
work
with
bilingual
infants
has
shown
that
4‐month‐olds
can
discriminate
their
languages
auditorily
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997)
and
visually
(Weikum
et
al.,
2007).
The
current
work
reveals
that
language
discrimination
in
bilinguals
is
robust
at
birth
 
 43
 and
that
language
preference
at
birth
reflects
previous
listening
experience.
Monolingual
newborns’
preference
for
their
single
native
language
directs
listening
attention
to
that
language.
Bilingual
newborns’
interest
in
both
languages
helps
ensure
attention
to,
and
hence
further
learning
about,
each
of
their
languages.

This
study
investigated
neonates
who
were
learning
rhythmically
distinct
languages.
Still
unanswered
is
whether
the
same
sensitivity
to
rhythm
can
also
support
infants
acquiring
two
languages
from
the
same
rhythmic
class.
The
differential
preference
for
Tagalog
by
Tagalog‐English
bilinguals
in
comparison
with
Chinese‐English
bilinguals
hints
that
bilingual
neonates
have
some
sensitivity
to
intraclass
rhythmic
differences
or
to
other
differences
between
language
pairs
in
the
same
rhythmic
class.
Further
research
is
required
to
directly
test
these
possibilities.
In
sum,
these
findings
show
that
from
the
very
beginning,
the
same
perceptual
and
learning
mechanisms
that
support
monolingual
acquisition
are
also
available
to
support
bilingual
acquisition.
Moreover,
our
results
confirm
that
infants
exposed
to
two
languages
throughout
gestation
have
already
begun
the
process
of
bilingual
acquisition
at
birth.
 
 44
 2.6 References
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L.,
&
Arnberg,
P.
W.
(1985).
The
relation
between
code
differentiation
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three‐
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S.,
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L.,
&
Werker,
J.
F.
(2005,
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 Acoustical
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N.
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N.
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doi:10.1016/S0010‐0277(97)00040‐1
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D.
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 Gervain,
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J.
F.
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 Grabe,
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L.
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 Jeffrey,
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Cohen,
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B.
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human
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 Advances
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&
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L.
Morgan,
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 Ramus,
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 Weikum,
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Vouloumanos,
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 47
 3 
The
development
of
associative
word
learning
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
 infants6
 3.1 Introduction
 
 Even
before
their
second
birthday,
infants
have
gained
considerable
expertise
in
word
learning.
Around
age
1½,
English‐learners
become
sensitive
to
syntactic
cues
that
differentiate
count
nouns
and
proper
names
(Bélanger
&
Hall,
2006),
can
use
word
learning
heuristics
to
disambiguate
a
novel
noun
in
the
presence
of
multiple
referents
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Halberda,
2003;
Markman,
Wasow,
&
Hansen,
2003),
and
consider
statistical
information
when
establishing
the
likely
referent
of
a
word
(Smith
&
Yu,
2008;
Vouloumanos
&
Werker,
2009).
Even
in
their
first
year,
infants
have
growing
receptive
vocabularies
(Fenson,
Marchman,
Thal,
Dale,
&
Bates,
2007),
and
can
demonstrate
comprehension
of
highly
frequent
words
in
experimental
procedures
(Tincoff
&
Jusczyk,
1999).
These
studies
reveal
a
nascent
ability
to
associate
words
and
referents.
This
skill
is
foundational
to
referential
word
knowledge
‐
the
understanding
that
a
word
can
stand
for
a
concept
(Nazzi
&
Bertoncini,
2003;
Oviatt,
1980;
Waxman
&
Gelman,
2009).

 To
what
degree
is
infants’
burgeoning
word
learning
expertise
influenced
by
the
nature
of
their
language
environment?
On
one
hand,
cross‐linguistic
and
bilingual
studies
reveal
striking
similarity
in
the
age
of
onset,
and
the
nature
of
children’s
early
productions
(Holowka,
Brosseau­Lapré,
&
Petitto,
2002;
Caselli
et
al.,
1995;
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1993).
On
the
other
hand,
cross‐language
differences
have
been
reported
in
such
diverse
areas
as
the
prevalence
of
nouns
in
children’s
early
vocabularies
(Tardif,
1996;
Tardif,
Gelman,
&
Xu,
1999),
preschoolers’
extension
of
novel
nouns
(Imai
&
Gentner,
1997;
Yoshida
&
Smith,
2001),
the
detection
of
mispronunciations
in
familiar
words
(Ramon‐





























 





























 
6
A
version
of
this
chapter
has
been
submitted
for
publication.
Byers‐Heinlein,
K.,
Fennell,
C.T.,
&
Werker,
J.F.
The
development
of
associative
word
learning
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants.
 
 48
 Casas,
Swingley,
Sebastián‐Gallés,
&
Bosch,
2009),
and
in
bilingual
children’s
use
of
word
learning
strategies
such
as
mutual
exclusivity
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Davidson,
Jergovic,
Imami,
&
Theodos,
1997;
Davidson
&
Tell,
2005;
Houston‐Price,
Caloghiris,
&
Raviglione,
2010;
but
see
also
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002).


 While
findings
with
preschoolers
suggest
that
the
input
language
can
influence
word
learning,
relatively
little
is
known
about
whether
similar
differences
are
also
present
in
infancy
as
most
experimental
infant
work
has
studied
monolingual
English‐learners
(e.g.
Hollich
et
al.,
2000;
Houston‐Price,
Plunkett,
&
Harris,
2005;
Pruden,
Hirsh‐Pasek,
Golinkoff,
&
Hennon,
2006;
Schafer
&
Plunkett,
1998;
Schafer,
2005;
Woodward,
Markman,
&
Fitzsimmons,
1994;
Woodward
&
Hoyne,
1999).
To
address
this
gap
in
the
literature,
we
turn
to
a
population
which
can
be
particularly
revealing
of
the
influence
of
early
language
environment:
infants
growing
up
bilingual.
 3.1.1 Early
bilingualism.

 Bilingual
infants
navigate
a
linguistic
world
that
contains
two
languages;
they
must
learn
two
phonetic
inventories,
two
words
for
each
referent,
and
two
grammars.
Perceptual
cues
in
the
input
facilitate
the
acquisition
of
two
languages,
and
young
bilinguals
show
sensitivity
to
and
learning
from
these
cues,
for
example
recognizing
and
discriminating
their
languages
both
auditorily
and
visually
by
4
months
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2001;
Weikum
et
al.,
2007).
Even
newborns
who
have
been
exposed
to
two
rhythmically
distinct
languages
prenatally
can
discriminate
sentences
across
their
languages
(Byers‐Heinlein,
Burns,
&
Werker,
2010;
see
Chapter
2).


 Bilingual
infants
do
sometimes
show
unique
developmental
trajectories.
For
example,
the
timing
of
phonetic
development
differs
from
monolinguals
for
some
contrasts
(Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2002,
2009;),
but
not
others
(Burns,
Yoshida,
Hill,
&
Werker,
2007;
Sundara,
Polka,
&
Molnar,
2008).
Phonotactic
development
may
also
differ,
 
 49
 interacting
with
language
dominance
(Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2002).
Outside
the
language
domain,
early
bilingualism
may
improve
some
cognitive
abilities
in
infancy,
particularly
inhibition
(Kovács
&
Mehler,
2009a,
2009b).
 3.1.2 Associative
word
learning.
Despite
increasing
interest
in
and
understanding
of
bilingual
language
development,
little
work
has
studied
associative
word
learning
abilities
in
young
bilinguals.
Infants’
ability
to
make
word‐object
associations
is
thought
to
be
the
first
word
learning
skill
to
emerge
ontogenetically,
building
on
infants’
categorization
of
objects,
segmentation
of
the
speech
stream,
and
recognition
of
word
forms
(e.g.
Golinkoff
&
Hirsh‐Pasek,
2006;
Hollich
et
al.,
2000;
Oviatt,
1980;
Werker,
Cohen,
Lloyd,
Casasola,
&
Stager,
1998).
Some
researchers
argue
that
associative
information
is
the
primary
means
by
which
the
novice
word
learner
establishes
word‐object
links
(Smith,
Jones,
Landau,
Gershkoff‐Stowe,
&
Samuelson,
2002),
and
that
associative
regularities
could
give
rise
to
word
learning
constraints,
such
as
the
shape
bias
and
fast
mapping
(Smith,
Jones,
Yoshida,
&
Colunga,
2003).
Although
others
argue
that
associative
word
learning
is
not
the
same
as
referential
word
learning
and
cannot
lead
to
its
discovery
(Booth
&
Waxman,
2003;
Waxman
&
Gelman,
2009;
Woodward,
2004),
there
is
a
consensus
that
associative
word
learning
is
an
essential
component
of
early
word
learning.
Given
the
centrality
of
associative
word
learning,
it
is
important
to
know
whether
this
skill
emerges
on
the
same
developmental
schedule
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants.
Yet,
if
the
ability
to
form
associations
is
such
a
powerful
word
learning
tool,
is
there
any
reason
to
suspect
that
this
capacity
differs
across
infants?
There
are
indications
that,
in
the
initial
stages
of
word
learning,
the
ability
to
form
word‐object
associations
is
mutable
even
in
monolingual
English‐learning
infants,
leaving
open
the
possibility
that
the
nature
of
the
early
language
environment
could
affect
early
word
learning.
In
the
laboratory,
English‐ 
 50
 learners
under
12
months‐of‐age
require
explicit
cues
to
establish
word‐object
associations,
such
as
temporal
synchrony
between
an
object’s
movement
and
its
auditory
label
(Gogate
&
Bahrick,
1998),
or
a
highly
salient
target
object
(Pruden
et
al.,
2006;
although
see
Curtin,
2009,
for
a
study
in
which
12‐month‐olds
succeeded
without
such
cues).
At
13‐14
months,
associations
seem
to
be
best
learned
in
a
rich
context,
with
speaker‐listener
interactions,
referential
cues,
and
syntactic
information
(Fennell
&
Waxman,
in
press;
Woodward
et
al.,
1994).

Conversely,
just
as
increased
cognitive
capacities
and
contextual
cues
support
infants
in
word‐object
associative
tasks,
the
more
complex
associative
environment
of
the
bilingual
could
hinder
this
ability.
By
complex,
we
mean
that
bilingual
infants
need
to
associate
more
than
one
basic‐level
label
with
any
object
(one
label
from
each
language).
This
undoubtedly
increases
the
variability
in
their
associative
statistics
and
could
necessitate
the
revision
of
established
associations.
Both
of
these
factors
may
increase
the
developmental
time
needed
to
concretely
establish
associations
and
decrease
bilingual
infants’
confidence
in
established
associations.
 3.1.3 The
Switch
task
for
studying
associative
word
learning.
We
know
of
only
two
studies
to
date
which
have
contrasted
associative
word
learning
abilities
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants.
Both
studies
(Fennell,
Byers‐Heinlein,
&
Werker,
2007;
Mattock,
Polka,
Rvachew,
&
Krehm,
2010)
used
a
habituation
word
learning
paradigm
called
the
Switch
task
(Werker
et
al.,
1998).

In
the
original
development
of
the
Switch
task
with
monolingual
English‐learners,
Werker
and
colleagues
(1998)
habituated
infants
between
8
and
14
months
to
two
word‐object
pairings
shown
on
a
television:
a
plastic
dog
paired
with
the
word
lif
and
a
toy
truck
paired
with
the
word
neem.
At
test,
infants
saw
one
trial
with
a
familiar
pairing
from
habituation
(Same
trial),
and
one
trial
with
a
novel
pairing,
like
the
truck
paired
with
lif
 
 51
 (Switch
trial).
If
infants
were
able
to
encode
the
word,
the
object,
and
the
link
between
the
two,
they
were
expected
to
look
longer
at
the
more
novel
Switch
trial
than
during
the
Same
trial.
The
results
showed
that
only
the
14‐month‐olds
looked
longer
at
the
Switch
trial
compared
to
the
Same
trial,
suggesting
that
infants
younger
than
this
cannot
associate
words
and
objects
in
this
task.

 Considerable
research
has
also
been
conducted
using
the
Switch
task
to
investigate
minimal
pair
word
learning
in
monolinguals
(e.g.
Curtin,
2009;
Dietrich,
Swingley,
&
Werker,
2007;
Fennell
&
Werker,
2004;
Pater,
Stager,
&
Werker,
2004;
Rost
&
McMurray,
2009;
Stager
&
Werker,
1997;
Thiessen,
2007;
Werker
et
al.,
2002;
Werker,
Fennell,
Corcoran,
&
Stager,
2002).
Minimal
pair
words
are
those
words
that
differ
in
a
single
phonological
element
(e.g.
“bat”
and
“pat”).
Minimal
pair
word
learning
has
been
of
particular
interest
because
it
requires
infants
to
apply
their
phonetic
sensitivities
while
associating
a
word
and
its
referent.
Fennell,
Byers‐Heinlein,
&
Werker
(2007)
extended
the
study
of
minimal
pair
word
learning
to
bilingual
infants.
They
tested
bilingual
infants
on
their
ability
to
associate
minimally
different
words
“bih”
and
“dih”
with
two
unfamiliar
objects.
While
monolinguals
can
learn
this
association
by
17
months
(Pater
et
al.,
2004;
Stager
&
Werker,
1997;
Werker
et
al.,
2002;
Werker
et
al.,
2002),
bilinguals
showed
evidence
of
learning
these
words
only
at
20
months
(Fennell
et
al.,
2007).

 In
a
related
study,
Mattock
and
colleagues
(2010)
tested
English‐French
bilinguals,
French
monolinguals,
and
English
monolinguals,
on
their
ability
to
learn
the
minimal
pairs
 bos
and
gos,
also
using
the
Switch
task.
Bilinguals
succeeded
at
17
months
when
tokens
were
pronounced
in
both
a
French
and
an
English
manner.
In
contrast,
both
French
and
English
monolinguals
failed
at
17
months
when
tokens
were
mixed
between
French
and
English
pronunciations,
but
succeeded
when
tokens
matched
their
language‐learning
 
 52
 context
(i.e.
French
monolinguals
succeeded
with
French‐pronounced
tokens,
but
failed
with
English‐pronounced
tokens).


 The
results
of
these
studies
suggest
that,
at
least
for
minimal
pair
words,
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
show
success
in
associative
word
learning
at
different
ages
and
under
different
conditions.
One
possibility
is
that
these
differences
are
specific
to
minimal
pair
word
learning,
originating
from
the
difficulty
bilinguals
have
navigating
their
more
complex
phonetic
space
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2003;
Sebastián‐Gallés
&
Bosch,
2009;
Sundara,
Polka,
&
Genesee,
2006;
Yoshida,
Fennell,
Swingley,
&
Werker,
2009),
from
a
later
emergence
of
stable
phoneme
categories
that
could
guide
word
learning
(Curtin,
Werker,
&
Byers‐Heinlein,
under
review;
Werker,
Byers‐Heinlein,
&
Fennell,
2009;
Werker
&
Curtin,
2005),
and/or
from
the
greater
phonetic
variability
inherent
to
bilinguals’
language
experience
than
that
of
monolinguals
(Mattock
et
al.,
2010).
However,
an
alternate
explanation
exists:
the
developmental
dissimilarity
between
monolingual
and
bilingual
minimal
pair
word
learning
may
stem
from
a
difference
in
the
more
general
ability
to
associate
words
and
objects,
rather
than
being
specific
to
minimal
pair
words.
Because
bilingual
infants
have
been
tested
on
minimal
pair
associative
word
learning,
but
not
yet
on
associative
word
learning
using
more
distinct
words,
we
do
not
know
whether
the
difficulty
lies
is
paying
attention
to
fine
phonetic
detail
or
in
the
more
fundamental
readiness
to
pair
words
and
concepts.
We
know
of
no
laboratory
studies
that
have
compared
basic
associative
word
learning
abilities
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants.
A
study
comparing
these
infants’
performance
on
the
learning
of
dissimilar‐sounding
words
is
therefore
critical,
both
to
interpreting
the
results
of
studies
of
minimal
pair
word
learning,
and
to
understanding
whether
and
how
early
language
experience
affects
fundamental
mechanisms
that
support
associative
word
learning.
The
current
study
therefore
tested
monolingual
and
bilingual
 
 53
 infants
on
their
ability
to
learn
dissimilar‐sounding
words
lif
and
neem
at
both
12‐
and
14‐months‐of‐age,
in
order
to
straddle
the
age
of
known
success
in
monolinguals.
Monolinguals
and
bilinguals
should
succeed
and
fail
at
the
same
ages
if
the
ability
to
associate
a
word
and
object
is
a
robust
mechanism
that
develops
with
little
regard
to
the
specifics
of
the
early
language
environment.
However,
it
is
also
possible
that,
just
as
in
other
language
areas,
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
will
have
different
developmental
trajectories
due
to
the
differences
in
the
complexity
of
their
language
environments.
 3.2 Method
 3.2.1 Participants.

 Ninety‐seven
infants
completed
the
study.
These
infants
fell
into
4
groups
(12
females
per
group)
based
on
age
and
language
background:
12‐month‐old
monolinguals
(N=25),
12‐month‐old
bilinguals
(N=24),
14‐month‐old
monolinguals
(N=24),
and
14‐month‐old
bilinguals
(N=24).
Twelve‐month‐olds
had
a
mean
age
of
12m17d
(range:
11m22d
to
13m8d),
and
14‐month
olds
had
a
mean
age
of
14m17d
(range:
13m27d
to
15m8d).
An
additional
36
participants
were
excluded
because
of
crying/fussiness
(23),
technical
error
(7),
and
parental
interference
(6).

 Monolinguals
came
from
English‐speaking
homes,
and
had
not
received
any
regular
exposure
to
a
non‐English
language.
Bilinguals
came
from
homes
where
English
as
well
another
language
(20
different
languages
were
represented)
had
been
spoken
regularly
since
the
infant’s
birth.
Bilinguals
heard
each
language
between
25%
and
75%
of
the
time
(Pearson,
Fernández,
Lewedeg,
&
Oller,
1997),
measured
via
the
Language
Exposure
Questionnaire
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997).
On
average,
bilinguals
heard
English
47%
of
the
time
(range
26%
to
73%),
and
their
non‐English
language
51%
of
the
time
(range
28%
to
74%).
A
few
infants
heard
a
small
amount
of
a
third
language.
 
 54
 3.2.2 Stimuli.

 Auditory
stimuli
were
recorded
by
a
female
native
English
speaker
who
produced
seven
tokens
each
of
three
nonsense
words,
lif,
neem,
and
pok,
in
an
infant‐directed
manner.
These
were
chosen
to
be
maximally
phonetically
different,
with
no
vowel
or
consonant
overlap.

 Visual
stimuli
used
during
habituation
were
colourful
images
of
a
clay
crown‐shaped
object
(Figure
3.1.
A)
and
a
plastic
molecule‐shaped
object
(Figure
3.1.
B),
filmed
moving
across
a
black
background.
A
spinning
waterwheel
object
was
used
during
the
pretest
and
posttest
(Figure
3.1.
C).
These
objects
were
identical
to
those
used
in
several
previous
studies
(e.g.
Fennell
et
al.,
2007;
Werker
et
al.,
2002).
 Figure
3.1.
Objects
used
for
visual
stimuli.
A)
Crown‐shaped
object
labeled
lif
B)
Molecule‐shaped
object
labeled
neem
C)
Waterwheel
object
used
for
pretest
and
posttest
labeled
pok.
 
 
 Audio
and
visual
stimuli
were
combined
to
create
20‐second
trials.
The
audio
tokens
were
presented
approximately
2
seconds
apart,
and
looped
such
that
the
first
three
tokens
were
played
twice.
Visual
stimuli
were
displayed
simultaneously,
although
not
synchronously,
with
the
audio
(Gogate
&
Bahrick,
1998).
 3.2.3 Apparatus.

 Testing
took
place
in
a
dimly
lit,
sound‐attenuated
room.
A
television
monitor
displayed
the
visual
stimuli,
and
hidden
speakers
on
either
side
played
the
sound
at
 
 55
 68±5db.
A
digital
video
camera
recorded
infants
response
for
later
off‐line
coding.
In
an
adjacent
room,
the
experimenter
controlled
the
study
with
computer
running
Habit
2000
(Cohen,
Atkinson,
&
Chaput,
2000),
and
monitored
the
infants’
looking
behavior
online
via
a
closed‐circuit
television.
 3.2.4 Procedure.

 Infants
were
tested
using
the
Switch
procedure
(Werker
et
al.,
1998).
Infants
sat
on
their
parent’s
lap
throughout
the
study,
while
their
parent
listened
to
masking
music
over
headphones.7
All
infants
started
with
a
pretest
trial
during
which
the
waterwheel
object
was
displayed
while
the
pok
tokens
played.
Next,
infants
were
habituated
to
two
word‐object
pairings:
the
crown‐shaped
object
with
lif,
and
the
molecule‐shaped
object
with
neem.
Trials
were
presented
in
blocks
of
four;
each
pairing
was
presented
twice
per
block,
yielding
six
combinations
(e.g.
ABBA,
AABB)
that
were
presented
in
a
quasi‐random
order.
Infants
saw
these
pairings
until
they
habituated,
such
that
their
looking
time
over
the
most
recent
trial
block
was
65%
of
that
during
the
block
when
the
infant
looked
the
most.
Infants
who
did
not
habituate
within
24
trials
proceeded
directly
to
the
test
phase.


 After
habituation,
infants
saw
two
test
trials
presented
in
one
of
8
possible
test
orders,
counterbalancing
which
trial
type
occurred
first
(Same,
Switch)
and
word‐object
pairings.
On
the
Same
test
trial,
infants
saw
a
familiar
pairing,
(e.g.
molecule‐neem).
On
the
Switch
test
trial,
infants
saw
an
unfamiliar
pairing
(e.g.
molecule‐lif).
If
infants
were
able
to
associate
the
word
and
object,
then
the
Switch
trial
would
be
novel.
However,
if
infants
learned
the
audio
and
video
stimuli
without
associating
the
two,
then
both
trial
types
would
be
equally
familiar.
A
posttest
consisting
of
the
waterwheel
paired
with
pok
was
used
to
ensure
that
infants
had
not
lost
interest
in
the
task.
 





























 





























 
7
See
Appendix
2
for
University
of
British
Columbia
Research
Ethics
Board
approval
certificate
for
the
studies
reported
in
this
paper.
 
 56
 
 Videotapes
were
digitized
and
test
trials
were
re‐coded
offline
by
a
highly
trained
coder
who
examined
infants’
looking
frame‐by‐frame,
with
high
reliability
(r=.97).
All
analyses
of
test
trials
reported
here
were
conducted
with
offline‐coded
data.
 3.3 Results

 Infants
completed
the
habituation
phase
in
16
trials
on
average,
with
no
significant
effects
of
age
or
language
background
on
this
measure.
Sixteen
of
the
infants
did
not
reach
habituation
within
24
trials.
A
t‐test
comparing
looking
time
during
the
first
4‐trial
block
to
looking
time
in
the
final
4‐trial
block
confirmed
that
the
infants
had
habituated
as
a
group,
 t(92)=14.43,
p<.0005.
Another
t‐test
showed
that
infants’
looking
time
recovered
during
the
post‐test
as
compared
to
the
final
four
habituation
trials,
t(92)=21.90,
p<.0005.
Thus,
infants
had
not
generally
lost
interest
in
the
task.

 Identification
of
outliers
was
performed
by
calculating
a
difference
score
(looking
during
the
Switch
trial
minus
looking
during
the
Same
trail)
for
each
infant,
and
excluding
those
infants
whose
scores
were
more
than
2.5
standard
deviations
away
from
the
mean
difference
score
across
infants.
Three
outliers
were
excluded
from
further
analyses:
1
14‐month
monolingual,
1
14‐month
bilingual,
and
1
12‐month
bilingual.
The
main
question
of
interest
was
whether
infants
showed
differential
looking
across
the
test
trials,
and
whether
their
performance
differed
as
a
function
of
language
background.
Accordingly,
a
2
(trial
type:
Same,
Switch)
x
2
(language
background:
monolingual,
bilingual)
mixed
ANOVA
was
performed
separately
for
each
age
group.
Gender
and
trial
order
were
not
included,
as
preliminary
analyses
had
shown
no
significant
effects
or
interactions.

 For
12‐month‐olds,
no
significant
effect
of
trial
type
was
found,
F(1,
46)=.017,
p=.90,
ηp2
<.0005.
This
indicated
that
12‐month‐old
infants
displayed
similar
looking
during
Same
and
Switch
test
trials,
thereby
failing
to
demonstrate
successful
association
of
the
words
 
 57
 and
objects.
Further,
trial
type
did
not
interact
with
language
background,
F(1,
46)=.073,
 p=.788.,
ηp2
=
.002,
indicating
equivalent
performance
for
monolinguals
and
bilinguals.
However,
there
was
a
marginally
significant
main
effect
of
language
background,
 F(1,46)=3.15,
p=.082,
ηp2
=
.064,
reflecting
that
12‐month‐old
bilinguals
looked
longer
across
both
types
of
test
trials
(MSame=10.74,
SDSame=
4.64,
MSwitch=10.82,
SDSwitch=4.64)
than
did
monolinguals
(MSame=8.93,
SDSame=
4.27,
MSwitch=8.69,
SDSwitch=3.97),
see
Figure
3.2.
 Figure
3.2
Study
results
for
12‐
and
14‐month‐old
monolinguals
and
bilinguals.
 
 
 Fourteen‐month‐olds
did
demonstrate
learning
of
the
word‐object
associations,
looking
significantly
longer
to
the
Switch
than
to
the
Same
trial,
F(1,44)=4.22,
p=.046,
ηp2
=
.088.
There
was
no
significant
main
effect
of
language
background,
F(1,44)=.94,
p=.34,
ηp2
=
.02,
nor
interaction
between
trial
type
and
language
background,
F(1,
44)=.21,
p=.648,
ηp2
=.005.
Indeed,
a
similar
pattern
of
looking
was
demonstrated
by
bilinguals
(MSame=8.93,
 SDSame=
4.98,
MSwitch=10.54,
SDSwitch=4.34)
and
monolinguals
(MSame=10.45,
SDSame=
5.09,
 MSwitch=11.47,
SDSwitch=4.90),
see
Figure
3.2.
 
 58
 3.4 Discussion

 The
current
study
investigated
monolinguals’
and
bilinguals’
ability
to
associate
a
novel
word
with
a
novel
object
at
12
and
14
months.
Monolinguals
and
bilinguals
showed
an
identical
developmental
pattern.
Regardless
of
language
background,
infants
successfully
associated
the
words
lif
and
neem
with
different
objects
at
14
months,
but
failed
at
12‐months‐of‐age.


 On
the
one
hand,
this
finding
is
consistent
with
studies
showing
that
bilinguals
have
similar
vocabulary
sizes
as
monolinguals
when
words
from
both
languages
are
taken
into
account
(De
Houwer,
Bornstein,
&
De
Coster,
2006;
Junker
&
Stockman,
2002;
Pearson
et
al.,
1993).
Such
a
parallel
would
only
be
seen
if
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
have
similar
abilities
to
associate
words
and
their
referents.
On
the
other
hand,
this
result
is
surprising
given
previous
discrepancies
between
the
two
groups
in
associative
word
learning
(Fennell
et
al.,
2007;
Mattock
et
al.,
2010)
and
familiar
word
recognition
(Ramon‐Casas
et
al.,
2009),
particularly
with
regards
to
minimal
pair
words.
These
results
therefore
support
the
growing
consensus
that
bilinguals
do
not
differ
from
monolinguals
in
the
development
of
fundamental
language
learning
abilities
(Mattock
et
al.,
2010;
Werker
&
Byers‐Heinlein,
2008).
Rather,
differences
reported
in
previous
minimal
pair
studies
likely
stem
from
specific
aspects
of
the
bilingual
experience,
for
example
the
more
complicated
phonetic
space
that
bilinguals
must
navigate,
and/or
the
increased
variability
in
phonemes
that
they
hear.

 Although
research
with
other
language
groups
will
be
needed
to
replicate
and
extend
this
finding,
the
current
results
suggest
that
the
fundamental
ability
to
link
sound
and
objects
is
robust
across
different
early
language
environments.
Even
though
bilinguals
are
exposed
to
a
more
complex
associative
environment
than
monolinguals
are,
where
objects
tend
to
have
two
basic‐level
labels,
early
differences
seen
in
the
use
of
some
word
 
 59
 learning
heuristics
(e.g.
Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Houston‐Price,
Caloghiris,
&
Raviglione,
2010)
are
absent
in
the
more
foundational
skill
of
associative
word
learning.
Like
monolinguals,
14‐month‐old
bilinguals
can
quickly
and
efficiently
link
a
word
and
its
referent
in
a
stripped‐down
and
highly
controlled
laboratory
task.
In
the
12‐month‐old
group,
bilinguals
looked
longer
during
both
test
trials
than
monolinguals,
a
finding
that
approached
significance.
This
may
indicate
that
bilingual
infants
attend
to
and
interpret
some
aspects
of
speech
differently
from
monolinguals,
an
idea
recently
put
forth
by
Sebastián‐Gallés
(2008)
to
explain
differences
between
these
groups
in
some
studies
of
phonetic
discrimination.
However,
any
interpretation
of
this
result
is
complicated
by
equal
looking
times
seen
across
both
groups
of
14‐month‐olds,
and
previous
findings
wherein
bilinguals
had
shorter
overall
looking
times
than
monolinguals
(i.e.,
Fennell
et
al.,
2007).
 3.4.1 Word
recognition
in
bilingualism.

 Our
results
can
also
help
to
shed
light
on
findings
related
to
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
familiar
words.
Two
studies
used
Event
Related
Potentials
(ERPs)
to
investigate
bilingual
infants’
brain
responses
to
already‐known
word
forms.
In
a
study
with
Welsh‐English
bilingual
infants
of
9
and
12
months‐of‐age,
ERPs
to
both
English
and
Welsh
words
were
similar
to
ERPs
that
English‐learning
infants
showed
to
English
words.
The
pattern
seen
in
these
two
groups
differed,
however,
from
the
pattern
shown
by
Welsh
monolinguals
in
response
to
Welsh
words
(Vihman,
Thierry,
Lum,
Keren‐Portnoy,
&
Martin,
2007).
In
another
study,
2‐year‐old
Spanish‐English
bilinguals
showed
a
similar
ERP
response
as
monolinguals
to
words
in
their
dominant
language,
but
showed
a
different
pattern
from
words
in
their
non‐dominant
language
(Conboy
&
Mills,
2006).


 The
current
findings
suggest
that
any
differences
between
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
in
word
form
recognition
do
not
lie
in
the
ability
to
form
an
initial
association
 
 60
 between
word
and
object.
Thus,
it
follows
that
differences
between
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
in
ERPs
to
known
words
may
derive
from
different
types
of
experience
with
these
words
rather
than
differences
in
encoding
between
the
dominant
and
the
non‐dominant
language.
For
example,
bilinguals
might
hear
dominant
language
words
more
frequently
than
non‐dominant
language
words,
and
likely
hear
any
particular
word
less
frequently
than
a
monolingual,
which
could
explain
reported
differences
in
ERPs.
A
study
that
recorded
ERPs
to
word
forms
taught
in
a
controlled
laboratory
setting,
rather
than
relying
on
the
child’s
own
naturalistic
experience,
could
help
to
test
this
idea,
and
further
show
when
and
how
word
learning
differs
as
a
function
of
language
experience.
 3.4.2 The
role
of
object
familiarity
in
word
learning.

 Our
results
appear
to
replicate
those
of
Werker
and
colleagues
(1998)
which
show
that
monolingual
infants
can
learn
dissimilar‐sounding
words
in
the
Switch
task
as
early
as
14
months.
However,
while
our
study
used
the
same
procedure
and
auditory
stimuli
as
Werker
et
al.
(1998),
we
used
novel,
unfamiliar
objects
instead
of
pictures
of
familiar
objects
(a
plastic
dog
and
a
toy
truck).

 Although
the
role
of
object
familiarity
was
not
the
motivating
question
behind
the
studies
presented
here,
our
study
does
provide
a
test
of
this
variable,
which
has
seldom
been
explicitly
manipulated
in
experimental
studies
(Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2005).
Two
exceptions
are
a
study
showing
that
children
are
more
likely
to
link
a
novel
label
to
a
familiar
object
without
a
known
label
than
with
an
unfamiliar
object
(Graham,
Turner,
&
Henderson,
2005),
and
a
study
suggesting
that
object
familiarity
might
facilitate
minimal‐pair
word
learning
(Fennell
&
Werker,
2004).
Given
that
previous
studies
have
indicated
that
unfamiliar
objects
can
impede
word
learning
while
in
our
study
they
did
not,
the
role
of
object
familiarity
in
early
word
learning
could
prove
to
be
a
fruitful
avenue
of
future
research.
 
 61
 3.4.3 Conclusion.

 Between
12
and
14
months‐of‐age,
infants
cement
an
ability
to
associate
a
word
and
its
referent
in
a
laboratory
task.
Monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
showed
an
identical
developmental
trajectory,
succeeding
at
our
task
at
14
months,
and
failing
at
12
months.
That
infants
from
two
very
different
language
backgrounds
achieve
associative
word
learning
on
the
same
schedule
reveals
that
this
learning
mechanism
is
highly
robust,
and
little‐influenced
by
the
specific
nature
of
the
early
language
environment.
Our
findings
suggest
that
reported
differences
in
acquisition
between
monolinguals
and
bilinguals,
particularly
in
older
infants
and
children,
likely
stem
from
differences
in
the
type
and
frequency
of
information
available
in
the
bilingual
environment,
rather
than
from
differences
in
the
mechanisms
that
support
such
learning.
Our
results
can
help
to
explain
parallels
in
vocabulary
acquisition
between
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants,
and
provide
a
foundation
for
future
studies
of
word
learning
in
bilinguals.

 
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 72
 4 Monolingual,
bilingual,
trilingual:
Infants’
language
experience
influences
the
 development
of
a
word­learning
heuristic8
 4.1 Introduction

 A
hallmark
of
children’s
language
development
in
the
second
year
of
life
is
their
emerging
ability
to
rapidly
learn
new
words.
One
factor
that
likely
contributes
to
rapid
word
learning
is
children's
capacity
to
infer
the
meaning
of
new
words
in
underspecified
contexts.
For
example,
in
the
presence
of
a
cup
and
an
unfamiliar
object
such
as
a
garlic
press,
children
tend
to
associate
a
novel
word
like
“zav”
with
the
garlic
press
rather
than
with
the
cup
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988).
This
heuristic
of
mapping
a
novel
word
onto
a
novel
object
is
known
as
disambiguation
(Merriman
&
Bowman,
1989).
Disambiguation
is
often
understood
as
the
product
of
a
word‐learning
constraint,
one
of
many
biases
that
allow
children
to
limit
the
scope
of
plausible
referents
that
they
consider
for
the
meaning
of
a
novel
word.
Investigating
how
such
constraints
operate
and
where
they
come
from
is
foundational
to
understanding
the
feat
of
lexical
acquisition.

 Most
of
the
research
to
date
investigating
disambiguation
has
focused
on
children’s
underlying
motivation
for
mapping
the
novel
noun
onto
the
novel
object.
Several
accounts
posit
a
socio‐pragmatic
origin
of
this
heuristic.
Clark,
for
example,
has
proposed
that
children
understand
that
different
words
come
from
different
underlying
intentions
(1987;
1990).
This
gives
rise
to
the
principle
of
contrast,
whereby
children
assume
that
different
words
must
contrast
in
meaning.
Similarly,
Diesendruck
and
colleagues
have
suggested
that
disambiguation
comes
from
pragmatic
understanding.
Children
infer
that
a
novel
word
 





























 





























 
8
A
version
of
this
chapter
has
been
published.
Byers‐Heinlein,
K.,
&
Werker,
J.F.
(2009).
Monolingual,
bilingual,
trilingual:
Infants’
language
experience
influences
the
development
of
a
word
learning
heuristic.
Developmental
Science,
12(5),
815‐823.
The
data
from
the
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
in
Study
1
were
submitted
in
partial
requirement
for
the
degree
of
Master
of
Arts,
awarded
in
2006
to
Krista
Byers‐Heinlein.
 
 73
 applies
to
a
novel
object
(or
one
without
a
known
name)
because,
had
a
particular
speaker
wanted
a
familiar
object
nameable
by
the
child,
that
speaker
would
have
used
the
conventional
name
(Diesendruck
&
Markson,
2001).


 Other
accounts
of
disambiguation
are
conceptual
rather
than
social
in
nature.
Markman
and
colleagues
have
suggested
that
disambiguation
is
a
manifestation
of
the
larger
principle
of
mutual
exclusivity,
a
“default
assumption”
that
each
object
should
have
one
basic‐level
label
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988;
Markman,
1992).
Under
the
mutual
exclusivity
account,
children
show
disambiguation
because
they
first
reject
the
nameable
object
as
a
referent
for
the
new
label,
and
then
search
for
a
novel
object.
Another
proposal,
the
Novel‐Name
Nameless
Category
assumption
(N3C;
Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994;
Mervis,
Golinkoff,
&
Bertrand,
1994)
suggests
that
children
disambiguate
novel
nouns
because
they
are
motivated
to
find
a
name
for
each
object.

 The
question
of
how
disambiguation
first
develops
has
received
considerably
less
attention
than
investigations
of
children’s
underlying
motivation
for
the
heuristic.
Word
learning
and
disambiguation
do
not
develop
synchronously:
instead
infants’
first
understanding
of
highly
frequent
words
such
as
“mommy”
and
“daddy”
can
be
seen
as
early
as
6
months
(Tincoff
&
Jusczyk,
1999),
while
disambiguation
appears
later,
between
16
and
18
months‐of‐age
(Halberda,
2003;
Markman,
Wasow,
&
Hansen,
2003).
Why
is
disambiguation
unavailable
at
the
onset
of
word
learning?
Different
accounts
of
disambiguation
provide
different
hypotheses.
Socio‐pragmatic
accounts
imply
that
children
must
achieve
a
certain
level
of
socio‐pragmatic
understanding
before
they
can
show
disambiguation,
and
this
may
not
occur
until
well
after
their
first
birthday.
The
N3C
account
proposes
that
children
must
learn
sufficient
words
in
order
to
have
the
conceptual
insight
that
each
object
should
have
a
name
(Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994;
Mervis
et
al.,
1994).
The
mutual
exclusivity
account
remains
agnostic
as
to
the
origins
of
the
constraint,
and
why
it
 
 74
 emerges
when
it
does.
As
Markman
and
colleagues
have
stated,
“Whether
and
what
kinds
of
exposure
to
linguistic
input
are
relevant
to
working
out
this
assumption
remains
an
open
question”
(Markman
et
al.,
2003,
p.
272).


 Here
we
test
the
possibility
that
language
experience
contributes
to
the
development
of
disambiguation.
The
current
studies
take
a
cross‐linguistic
approach
by
comparing
disambiguation
in
infants
learning
a
single
language
to
disambiguation
in
those
learning
multiple
languages.
Multilingual
children
are
of
particular
theoretical
interest,
as
they
must
learn
a
basic‐level
label
in
each
of
their
languages
for
each
object
(one
in
each
language),
in
apparent
contradiction
to
constraints
such
as
mutual
exclusivity.
Several
studies
of
preschoolers
and
school‐aged
children
have
found
that
bilinguals
show
a
weaker
tendency
to
disambiguate
novel
nouns
than
monolinguals
do
(Davidson,
Jergovic,
Imami,
&
Theodos,
1997;
Davidson
&
Tell,
2005;
but
see
also
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002;
Merriman
&
Kutlesic,
1993).
Reported
differences
could
originate
in
the
initial
development
of
disambiguation,
or
might
come
about
as
children
gain
increased
social
and
linguistic
experience
during
their
preschool
years.
A
comparison
of
monolingual
and
multilingual
infants
near
the
onset
of
the
use
of
disambiguation
could
disentangle
these
two
possibilities.
If
disambiguation
differs
between
monolinguals
and
multilinguals
from
the
get‐go,
this
would
provide
strong
evidence
that
language
experience
influences
the
development
of
disambiguation,
and
not
just
its
later
use.

 We
used
a
preferential
looking‐while‐listening
paradigm
(Fernald,
Pinto,
Swingley,
Weinberg,
&
McRoberts,
1998;
Golinkoff,
Hirsh‐Pasek,
Cauley,
&
Gordon,
1987;
Halberda,
2003)
to
test
infants
between
17
and
18
months
old,
the
age
when
disambiguation
is
first
shown
in
monolingual
infants
(Halberda,
2003;
Markman
et
al.,
2003;
Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994).
Participating
infants
were
all
of
the
same
chronological
age,
but
differed
with
respect
to
their
early
language
experience:
infants
grew
up
in
either
monolingual,
bilingual,
or
 
 75
 trilingual
homes.
Different
accounts
of
disambiguation
and
its
developmental
origins
yield
different
predictions
about
the
relative
performance
of
each
group.
If
disambiguation
emerges
on
a
maturational
timetable,
infants
should
show
similar
performance
on
a
disambiguation
task
regardless
of
language
background.
If
the
development
of
disambiguation
is
related
to
socio‐pragmatic
competence,
then
there
is
no
particular
reason
to
predict
any
differences
between
the
groups
as
all
would
have
had
a
similar
amount
of
social
experience.
If
language
experience
itself
influences
the
development
of
disambiguation,
then
markedly
different
types
of
early
experience
might
change
the
developmental
timetable
of
disambiguation.
In
such
a
case,
an
examination
of
factors
that
predict
infants’
success
in
disambiguation,
such
as
vocabulary
size
and
the
number
of
languages
being
learned,
might
provide
important
clues
as
to
how
disambiguation
develops.
 4.2 Study
1
 4.2.1 Method.
 4.2.1.1 Participants.

 Forty‐eight
infants
participated
in
Study
1,
16
each
from
monolingual,
bilingual,
and
trilingual
backgrounds.
Half
in
each
group
were
female.
They
ranged
in
age
from
17m8d
to
18m20d,
and
mean
ages
for
the
monolingual,
bilingual,
and
trilingual
groups
respectively
were
17m28d,
17m29d,
and
18m1d.
Eleven
additional
infants
were
tested
but
excluded
due
to
restlessness
(7),
crying
(2),
disinterest
in
the
procedure
(1),
and
parental
report
of
poor
vision
(1).
 4.2.1.2 Language
background.

 Monolingual
infants
came
from
English‐speaking
homes,
and
their
parents
reported
that
they
had
not
received
any
systematic
exposure
to
a
language
other
than
English.
 
 76
 Multilingual
infants
had
been
exposed
to
English
as
well
as
either
one
other
(bilinguals)
or
two
other
(trilinguals)
languages
in
the
home
since
birth.
The
non‐English
languages
reported
in
the
sample
were
diverse,
including
22
different
languages
(see
Appendix
3
for
full
details
of
multilingual
infants’
language
backgrounds).
Exposure
to
each
of
the
multilinguals’
languages
was
measured
by
the
Language
Exposure
Questionnaire
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997).
For
bilingual
infants,
a
minimum
of
25%
exposure
to
each
language
was
set
as
an
inclusion
criterion
(Pearson,
Fernández,
Lewedeg,
&
Oller,
1997),
and
bilinguals
heard
a
mean
of
48%
English
(range:
27
to
70%),
and
52%
of
their
other
language
(range:
29
to
73%).
For
trilingual
infants,
perfectly
balanced
exposure
would
result
in
hearing
each
language
33%
of
the
time.
Therefore,
for
trilinguals
we
accepted
a
more
relaxed
minimum
exposure
to
each
language.
On
average,
trilinguals
heard
English
37%
of
the
time
(range:
19
to
55%),
and
each
of
their
two
other
languages
32%
of
the
time
(range:
19
to
55%).
 4.2.1.3 Vocabulary
measure.

 Estimates
of
infants’
English
vocabulary
size
were
obtained
by
asking
parents
to
complete
the
Words
and
Gestures
form
of
the
MacArthur‐Bates
Communicative
Development
Inventory
(CDI;
Dale
&
Fenson,
1996;
Fenson,
Marchman,
Thal,
Dale,
&
Bates,
2007),
which
has
shown
high
validity
in
at
least
one
bilingual
sample
(Marchman
&
Martinez‐Sussman,
2002).
For
multilingual
infants,
parents
were
asked
to
complete
the
form
with
respect
to
only
their
child’s
English
vocabulary,
and
when
possible,
the
caregiver
who
spoke
English
most
often
with
the
infant
filled
out
the
form.
CDI
data
could
not
be
collected
for
bilingual
and
trilingual
infants’
non‐English
languages
due
to
the
unavailability
of
versions
of
the
CDI
for
many
of
the
languages
represented.
Vocabulary
data
were
not
available
for
two
monolinguals,
one
bilingual,
and
one
trilingual,
because
their
caregivers
failed
to
return
a
completed
form.
Reported
English
receptive
and
productive
vocabulary
 
 77
 sizes
were
highest
for
monolinguals,
and
lowest
for
bilinguals,
with
the
trilinguals
between
the
other
two
groups
(See
Table
4.1).

 Table
4.1.
English
CDI
scores
for
infants
in
Study
1
Receptive
Vocabulary
 
 Productive
Vocabulary

 M
 SD
 Range
 
 M
 SD
 Range
Monolinguals
 260
 66
 156‐374
 
 76
 84
 7‐285
Bilinguals
 156
 72
 32‐313
 
 35
 29
 1‐109
Trilinguals
 202
 118
 20‐367
 
 75
 92
 4‐267
 4.2.1.4 Stimuli.

 Visual
stimuli
consisted
of
four
brightly‐colored
objects,
three
familiar
(ball,
car,
and
shoe)
and
one
novel.
The
novel
object
was
a
slightly
modified
version
of
a
phototube
from
the
TarrLab
Object
DataBank
(1996).
The
objects
were
presented
on
a
black
background
in
consistent
pairs:
car‐ball
and
phototube‐shoe.
The
objects
appeared
in
different
colors
on
different
trials
to
maintain
infant
interest,
and
to
ensure
generalization
across
different‐colored
exemplars
of
the
same
object
category.
Sample
stimulus
pairs
are
shown
in
Figure
4.1.
 Figure
4.1
Sample
stimulus
pairs.
(a)
Car‐ball
pair
(b)
Phototube‐shoe
pair.
 (a) 
(b) 
 
 Auditory
stimuli
were
recorded
by
a
female
native
English
speaker
who
spoke
in
an
infant‐directed
manner.
The
stimuli
consisted
of
three
labels
that
named
the
familiar
objects‐
“ball”,
“car”,
“shoe”,
and
one
label
that
named
the
novel
phototube
object
–
“nil”.
 
 78
 Although
nil
does
have
meaning
for
English‐speaking
adults,
its
infrequent
use
and
abstract
meaning
make
it
unlikely
that
infants
are
familiar
with
this
word.9
Each
label
was
recorded
in
isolation,
and
with
three
carrier
phrases,
“Look
at
the
___”,
“Find
the
___”,
and
“Where
is
the
___”.
For
each
trial,
the
label
was
presented
once
embedded
in
a
carrier
phrase
(chosen
quasi‐randomly),
and
again
in
isolation
(e.g.,
“Look
at
the
ball!
Ball!”).


 To
ensure
that
infants
were
likely
to
know
the
familiar
words
used
in
this
study,
we
examined
infants’
reported
comprehension
on
the
corresponding
MCDI
items.
Comprehension
within
each
language
exposure
group
of
“ball”,
“car”,
and
“shoe”
ranged
from
80‐100%.
Therefore
across
all
three
groups,
the
vast
majority
of
infants
understood
these
words.
 4.2.1.5 Apparatus.

 Data
were
collected
using
a
Tobii
1750
eye
tracking
system
with
the
following
components:
a
monitor
that
both
presented
the
stimuli
and
recorded
infant
eye‐gaze,
and
a
PC
computer
running
the
Tobii
Clearview
software
program
that
controlled
the
stimulus
presentation
and
collected
the
eye
tracking
data.
Light‐emitting
diodes
built
into
the
monitor
generated
invisible
infrared
light,
which
shined
on
the
infant’s
face.
A
high‐resolution
camera
built
into
the
monitor
collected
eye‐gaze
data
based
on
the
light
reflection
off
the
infant’s
cornea
relative
to
the
pupil.
 





























 





























 
9
It
is
also
relevant
whether
“nil”
was
a
word
known
to
multilingual
infants
in
a
language
other
than
English.
No
parents
of
participants
in
the
study
reported
that
their
infants
knew
a
meaning
for
the
word
“nil”
in
any
language.
Further,
“nil”
is
either
phonotactically
illegal
or
is
a
non‐word
in
the
most
frequent
languages
in
our
sample:
French,
Cantonese,
Mandarin,
Spanish,
Tagalog,
Vietnamese,
and
Japanese.
 
 79
 4.2.1.6 Procedure.

 The
study
was
conducted
in
a
dimly
lit,
sound‐attenuated
room.
Infants
sat
on
their
parent’s
lap,
approximately
60
cm
away
from
the
eye
tracking
monitor.10
Loudspeakers
were
located
on
either
side
of
the
monitor,
hidden
from
view
by
a
black
cardboard
panel.
To
avoid
influencing
the
infant
during
the
study,
parents
wore
a
blindfold
or
closed
their
eyes.
The
experimenter
controlled
the
study
from
a
computer
and
a
closed‐circuit
TV
monitor,
out
of
sight
of
the
infant.
Prior
to
the
study,
a
five‐point
infant
calibration
routine
calibrated
the
eye
tracker
to
the
infant’s
eyes.


 Each
session
started
with
a
warm‐up
trial,
during
which
a
spinning
waterwheel
appeared
sequentially
on
each
side
of
the
monitor.
Following
the
warm‐up,
infants
were
presented
with
experimental
trials.
On
each
trial,
the
object
pair
first
appeared
in
silence
on
the
monitor
for
3
seconds,
so
that
infants’
baseline
preference
for
each
object
could
be
measured.
The
test
phase
of
the
trial
immediately
followed
the
baseline
phase,
when
an
auditory
stimulus
was
played
that
named
one
of
the
objects
(e.g.,
“Look
at
the
ball!
Ball!”).
The
objects
then
remained
in
silence
on
the
monitor,
such
that
the
total
trial
length
was
9.5
seconds.
After
the
test
phase
was
completed,
the
unlabeled
object
disappeared,
while
the
labeled
object
(or
the
novel
object
in
the
case
of
novel
label
trials)
moved
around
on
the
monitor
for
2
seconds
with
accompanying
music.
Previous
studies
of
word
comprehension
have
suggested
that
such
visual
feedback
keeps
infants
on‐task
in
preferential
looking
studies
(Killing
&
Bishop,
2008).
The
results
of
the
current
and
past
studies
have
found
no
evidence
that
this
reinforcement
drives
infants’
performance
on
novel
label
trials
(see
Results;
Halberda,
2003).

 Infants
were
presented
with
24
test
trials,
in
four
blocks
of
six
trials
per
block,
in
an
experimental
design
similar
to
that
used
by
Halberda
(2003).
The
first
and
third
blocks






























 





























 
10
See
Appendix
4
for
University
of
British
Columbia
Research
Ethics
Board
approval
certificate
for
the
studies
reported
in
this
paper.
 
 80
 consisted
of
known
vs.
known
trials
(ball‐car),
while
the
second
and
fourth
blocks
consisted
of
known
vs.
novel
trials
(shoe‐nil).
Each
object
was
labeled
on
half
of
the
trials
in
which
it
appeared,
thus
a
total
of
six
times.
Each
infant
saw
the
objects
in
a
consistent
configuration
throughout
all
the
trials
(e.g.,
ball
on
left,
car
on
right).
Eight
stimulus
orders
were
created
to
counterbalance
side
and
order
of
presentation
across
infants.
A
bright
circular
pattern
was
presented
in
the
center
of
the
monitor
between
trials,
to
ensure
that
trials
began
with
a
central
visual
fixation.
The
total
duration
of
the
study
was
approximately
7
minutes.

 Infant
eye‐gaze
data
were
collected
at
20
ms
intervals
by
the
eye
tracker,
and
each
time
interval
was
classified
as
a
look
towards
the
left
side
object,
a
look
towards
the
right
side
object,
or
no
look
towards
either
object.
Data
were
equated
to
the
onset
of
each
label
for
each
trial,
so
that
they
could
be
collapsed
across
trial
type
in
order
to
measure
the
infant’s
success
at
orienting
to
the
labeled
object.
 4.2.2 Results
and
discussion.

 Infants’
responses
to
familiar
and
novel
words
were
examined
in
a
window
that
began
360
and
ended
2000
ms
after
the
onset
of
the
target
word.
A
number
of
other
studies
investigating
word
comprehension
in
infants
and
adults
have
used
a
similar
initial
time
point
as
a
plausible
minimum
time
required
to
respond
to
a
word,
due
to
the
time
needed
both
to
process
the
word
and
to
initiate
an
eye
movement
(e.g.,
Dahan,
Swingley,
Tanenhaus,
&
Magnuson,
2000).
Looking
time
after
2000
ms
post‐word‐onset
is
less
likely
to
be
in
response
to
the
word
itself
(Fernald,
Perfors,
&
Marchman,
2006;
Swingley
&
Fernald,
2002).
Only
trials
with
sufficient
attention
during
the
first
two
seconds
post‐word‐onset,
i.e.,
those
with
more
than
750
ms
of
looking
to
the
two
objects,
were
included.
Seventeen
percent
of
all
trials
were
excluded
due
to
insufficient
attention.

 An
individual
baseline
score
was
calculated
for
each
infant,
as
the
proportion
of
time
the
infant
looked
at
a
particular
object
during
the
3
second
silent
baseline
period
on
all
 
 81
 trials
in
which
that
object
was
onscreen.
Trials
during
which
the
infant
looked
less
than
1
out
of
the
3
seconds
were
excluded
from
the
calculation.
A
2
(object
type:
familiar,
novel)
x
3
(language
background:
monolingual,
bilingual,
trilingual)
ANOVA
showed
that
infants
had
an
overall
preference
for
looking
at
the
familiar
objects
during
baseline
over
the
novel
object,
F(1,45)=24.43,
p<.0005,
but
this
did
not
interact
with
language
background,
 F(2,45)=.204,
p=.816.
This
replicates
previous
findings
that
infants
prefer
to
look
at
objects
with
known
names
over
other
objects
(Schafer,
Plunkett,
&
Harris,
1999;
White
&
Morgan,
2008).
Thus,
to
control
for
inherent
baseline
preferences,
all
subsequent
analyses
were
conducted
with
difference
scores,
which
subtracted
each
individual’s
baseline
preference
from
the
proportion
of
time
they
looked
at
the
target
object
after
labeling.
A
positive
difference
score
therefore
indicates
increased
looking
at
the
target
object
after
labeling.

 Familiar
label
trials
were
analyzed
first,
to
assess
whether
infants
understood
the
task.
Success
would
be
shown
by
an
increase
in
looking
at
the
target
object.
One‐tailed
t‐tests
on
infants’
familiar
label
difference
scores
confirmed
that
monolinguals,
M=.12,
 SD=.079,
t(15)=5.97,
p<.005,
d=1.49,
bilinguals,
M=.066,
SD=.13,
t(15)=1.96,
p=.035,
d=.49,
and
trilinguals
M=.14,
SD=.243,
t(15)=2.46,
p=.014,
d=.61
all
increased
looking
to
the
target
object
upon
hearing
its
label.
A
one‐way
ANOVA
confirmed
no
significant
differences
among
language
exposure
groups
F(2,45)=1.01,
p=.37.

 To
examine
infants’
ability
to
disambiguate
the
novel
noun
by
increasing
their
attention
to
the
novel
object,
one‐tailed
t‐tests
were
performed
on
infants’
difference
scores
for
novel
label
trials
(see
Figure
4.2).
Monolinguals
showed
a
strong
disambiguation
effect,
significantly
increasing
attention
to
the
novel
object
upon
hearing
a
novel
label,
M=.12,
 SD=.18,
t(15)=2.63,
p=.0095,
d=.66.
Increased
attention
to
the
novel
object
was
seen
on
the
first
5
of
the
6
experimental
trials.
Bilinguals
showed
a
similar
but
marginal
pattern,
M=.08,
 SD=.19,
t(15)=1.69,
p=.057,
d=.42.
Bilinguals’
average
difference
score
was
positive
on
all
6
 
 82
 experimental
trials.
Trilinguals
showed
no
increase
in
looking
towards
the
novel
object
upon
hearing
the
novel
label,
M=‐.033,
SD=.24,
t(15)=‐.563,
ns.11
Their
average
difference
score
was
positive
on
3
and
negative
on
3
trials.
To
assess
whether
infants’
performance
improved
across
trials
due
to
the
feedback
provided
after
each
trial
(when
the
target
object
moved
on
the
screen
to
music),
a
linear
trend
analysis
was
performed
separately
for
each
group.
This
analysis
showed
that
infants’
performance
did
not
improve
over
successive
trials,
as
there
was
no
significant
linear
trend
for
monolinguals,
F(1)=1.86,
p=.25,
bilinguals,
 F(1)=.081,
p=.802,
or
trilinguals,
F(1)=.404,
p=.55.
Results
for
both
familiar
label
and
novel
label
trials
are
presented
in
Figure
4.2.
 





























 





























 
11
To
ensure
that
this
pattern
of
results
was
not
an
artifact
of
the
360‐2000ms
window
of
analysis,
additional
analyses
were
conducted
on
the
2000‐4000ms
time
window.
Results
were
almost
identical
to
those
found
in
the
earlier
window.
One‐tailed
t‐tests
showed
that
monolinguals
showed
strong
disambiguation,
M=.13,
t(15)=2.69,
p=.009,
d=.67,
bilinguals
showed
marginal
use
of
disambiguation,
M=.11,
t(15)=1.72,
p=.057,
d=.43,
and
trilinguals
showed
no
evidence
of
using
disambiguation,
M=.04,
t(13)=.76,
p=.23,
d=.20.
The
trilingual
results
here
are
based
on
14
infants
as
2
of
the
participating
infants
lost
interest
during
the
later
part
of
each
trial.
 
 83
 Figure
4.2
Proportion
increased
looking
towards
target
objects
as
a
function
of
language
exposure
group.
 

 A
linear
regression
analysis
was
performed
to
investigate
what
aspects
of
infants’
language
proficiency
and
experience
predicted
performance
on
novel
label
trials.
The
use
of
linear
regression
preserves
the
inherent
ordering
of
the
groups
in
terms
of
the
number
of
languages
infants
are
learning
(monolingual
<
bilingual
<
trilingual),
a
feature
of
our
experimental
design
which
cannot
be
modeled
by
techniques
such
as
ANOVA
or
ANCOVA.
The
number
of
languages
being
learned
by
the
infant
was
a
significant
predictor
of
infants’
difference
scores,
ß=‐.317,
t(44)=‐2.02,
p=.05,
while
English
MCDI
comprehension,
ß=‐.008,
 t(44)=‐.04,
p=.97
and
production
scores
ß=‐.048,
t(44)=.26,
p=.80
showed
almost
no
association
with
performance.
 
 84
 4.3 Study
2
 4.3.1 Method.

 To
rule
out
the
possibility
that
any
incidental
aspects
of
the
procedure
drove
infants’
responses,
Study
2
was
run
as
a
control
study.
The
procedure
was
identical
to
that
of
Study
1,
except
that
object
label
phrases
(e.g.,
“Look
at
the
ball!
Ball!”)
were
replaced
with
no‐label
attention
phrases.
Three
attention
phrases
were
used:
“Look
at
that!
Look!”,
“Can
you
see
it?
Wow!”
and
“There
it
is!
Look!”.
Visual
stimuli
were
unchanged.
That
is,
on
each
trial,
one
object
of
the
pair
moved
on
the
screen
accompanied
by
music
as
it
did
in
Study
1,
however
the
particular
object
that
moved
was
unrelated
to
the
attention
phrase.

 Sixteen
infants
(half
female)
participated.
Nine
of
the
participants
were
from
monolingual
English‐speaking
families,
and
seven
were
from
bilingual
families.
Data
from
an
additional
9
infants
were
excluded
due
to
disinterest
in
the
procedure
(4),
crying
(2),
restlessness
(2),
and
equipment
failure
(1).
Bilinguals’
exposure
to
their
languages
was
assessed
as
in
Study
1,
and
bilingual
infants
were
reported
to
hear
English
an
average
of
49%
of
the
time
(range:
28
to
68%)
and
their
other
language
an
average
of
50%
(range:
28
to
72%)
of
the
time.
One
bilingual
infant
was
hearing
a
small
amount
(8%)
of
a
third
language.
Because
of
experimenter
error,
CDIs
were
only
collected
for
half
of
the
infants:
5
monolinguals
and
3
bilinguals.
These
infants
had
an
average
receptive
vocabulary
of
261
(SD=98;
range:
153‐452)
and
productive
vocabulary
of
77
(SD=77;
range:
19‐190),
making
their
vocabulary
sizes
comparable
to
those
of
monolinguals
in
Study
1.
 4.3.2 Results
and
discussion.

 Infants’
difference
scores
were
analyzed
as
in
Study
1.
One‐tailed
t‐tests
showed
that
infants
did
not
significantly
increase
looking
to
the
target
object
on
familiar
label
trials,
 M=
.07,
SD=
.14,
t(15)=.45,
p=.33,
d=.5.
On
novel
label
trials,
infants
showed
a
small
decrease
 
 85
 in
attention
to
the
novel
object
after
hearing
the
no‐label
attention
phrase,
M=.082,
SD=.19,
 t(15)=‐1.59,
ns.
Infants’
failure
to
engage
in
systematic
looking
behavior
confirms
that
incidental
aspects
of
the
experimental
procedure
cannot
account
for
their
performance
in
Study
1,
and
replicates,
with
an
older
age
group,
a
similar
study
conducted
by
Halberda
(2003).

 4.4 General
discussion
 
 The
current
research
sought
to
determine
whether
early
language
experience
influences
the
development
of
a
word‐learning
heuristic:
the
disambiguation
of
novel
nouns
by
associating
them
with
novel
referents.
We
tested
three
groups
of
infants
aged
17‐18
months
who
were
growing
up
learning
different
numbers
of
languages:
monolinguals,
bilinguals,
and
trilinguals.
Monolinguals
showed
disambiguation
strongly
(replicating
Halberda,
2003,
who
tested
English‐learners
at
a
similar
age),
bilinguals
showed
marginal
use
of
disambiguation,
and
trilinguals
showed
no
disambiguation.
Incidental
aspects
of
the
experimental
procedure
did
not
drive
the
result,
as
those
infants
that
showed
disambiguation
did
so
from
the
very
first
trial,
and
infants
responded
randomly
in
a
control
study
in
which
a
no‐label
attention
phrase
was
used
rather
than
a
novel
label.
Further,
the
results
cannot
be
explained
by
generalized
differences
in
performance
in
a
preferential
looking
task,
as
all
three
groups
succeeded
on
familiar
label
trials,
while
differing
only
on
novel
label
trials.
Our
results
clearly
demonstrate
that
early
language
experience
influences
the
development
of
disambiguation
(see
Houston‐Price,
Caloghiris,
&
Raviglione,
2010,
for
a
recent
extension).

 Established
accounts
of
disambiguation
can
be
distinguished
by
their
predictions
concerning
the
role
of
language
experience
in
infants’
development
of
this
heuristic.
The
mutual
exclusivity
account
is
agnostic,
stating
that
the
developmental
origins
remain
unknown.
Socio‐pragmatic
accounts
suggest
that
social
understanding,
rather
than
language
 
 86
 experience,
should
underlie
developmental
differences
in
disambiguation
across
infants.
Existing
research
to
date
comparing
socio‐pragmatic
development
in
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
has
mostly
investigated
theory
of
mind
development,
and
has
shown
that
bilingual
children
outperform
monolinguals
in
theory
of
mind
tasks
(Goetz,
2003;
Kovács,
2009).
While
there
is
disagreement
about
whether
this
advantage
stems
from
social
(Goetz,
2003)
or
cognitive
(Kovács,
2009)
bases,
the
existing
research
predicts
that
if
anything,
multilingual
children
should
be
superior
to
monolingual
children
in
social
understanding.
Under
socio‐pragmatic
accounts,
this
would
imply
a
precocious
ability
to
disambiguate
novel
nouns,
a
pattern
opposite
to
our
results.


 Could
the
N3C
account
explain
our
results?
The
N3C
account
proposes
that
children
are
only
able
to
disambiguate
novel
nouns
once
they
acquire
enough
words
to
have
the
insight
that
all
objects
have
a
name
(Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994).
In
the
current
study,
our
three
language
exposure
groups
did
differ
with
respect
to
English
vocabulary
size,
but
did
not
account
for
our
results.
A
regression
analysis
revealed
that
neither
English
production
nor
English
comprehension
vocabulary
size
predicted
performance
on
novel
label
trials.
Further,
if
English
vocabulary
size
drives
the
development
of
infants’
ability
to
disambiguate
novel
English
words,
then
trilinguals
should
have
outperformed
bilinguals
as
they
had
larger
vocabularies,
but
this
was
not
the
case.

 Considering
only
English
vocabulary
size
underestimates
bilingual
and
trilingual
infants’
lexical
knowledge
because
these
infants
also
know
words
in
their
non‐English
languages
(De
Houwer,
Bornstein,
&
De
Coster,
2006;
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1993).
Due
to
the
numerous
different
languages
represented
in
the
current
study,
non‐English
vocabularies
could
not
be
measured.
Could
the
use
of
disambiguation
be
tied
to
total
vocabulary
size
across
all
languages,
rather
than
English
vocabulary
size?
Several
studies
of
bilingual
infants
and
toddlers
have
suggested
that
bilinguals
know
the
same
or
more
words
 
 87
 than
their
monolingual
peers
when
both
languages
are
taken
into
account
(Junker
&
Stockman,
2002;
Pearson
et
al.,
1993).
In
the
current
study,
exposure
to
various
languages
was
fairly
balanced
amongst
the
multilingual
groups.
Assuming
that
these
infants
knew
on
average
the
same
number
of
other‐language
words
as
they
did
English‐language
words,
their
total
vocabulary
size
would
have
been
even
larger
than
that
of
the
monolingual
group,
which
would
yield
precocious
disambiguation
by
the
multilinguals,
and
not
the
decreased
use
of
disambiguation
that
we
found.
Although
lack
of
data
on
infants’
non‐English
vocabularies
means
that
this
possibility
cannot
be
totally
ruled
out,
vocabulary
size
across
languages
is
unlikely
to
account
for
the
results
of
the
current
study.

 How
then
might
experience
in
a
multilingual
environment
influence
the
development
of
disambiguation?
Our
results
showed
that
the
degree
to
which
infants
showed
disambiguation
co‐varied
with
the
number
of
languages
they
were
learning:
the
more
languages
being
learned,
the
less
the
infants
showed
disambiguation.
We
suggest
that
the
development
of
disambiguation
is
influenced
by
the
structure
rather
than
the
size
of
the
vocabulary.
As
they
learn
their
two
languages,
bilingual
children
often
acquire
cross‐language
synonyms
or
translation
equivalents
(De
Houwer
et
al.,
2006;
Junker
&
Stockman,
2002;
Pearson
et
al.,
1993;
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1995).
Translation
equivalents
represent
a
departure
from
the
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
word
and
concept
that
is
typical
of
monolingual
vocabularies.
Trilinguals
might
know
even
more
translation
equivalents
than
bilinguals.
Language
experience
could
influence
early
disambiguation
because
knowledge
of
many‐to‐one
mappings
delays
its
development
in
the
multilingual,
because
knowledge
of
one‐to‐one
mappings
promotes
its
development
in
the
monolingual,
or
through
an
interplay
of
both
factors.


 In
the
past,
researchers
have
reasoned
about
how
word‐learning
biases
may
influence
the
early
lexicon,
by
suggesting
that
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
 
 88
 equivalents
can
be
seen
as
evidence
against
one‐to‐one
mapping
biases
such
as
mutual
exclusivity
and
therefore
in
favor
of
other
biases
such
as
N3C
(Golinkoff,
Mervis,
&
Hirsh‐Pasek,
1994,
p.144).
This
argument
sees
word‐learning
biases
and
related
heuristics
such
as
disambiguation
as
coming
online
before
early
lexical
knowledge
is
acquired.
However,
our
results
suggest
the
reverse,
that
lexical
knowledge,
in
particular
the
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents,
precede
and
ultimately
influence
the
development
of
disambiguation.
This
“lexicon
structure
hypothesis”
could
be
tested
and
refined
empirically
by
studies
of
monolingual
and
multilingual
infants
that
relate
their
use
of
disambiguation
to
the
number
of
one‐to‐one
versus
many‐to‐one
mappings
that
their
lexicons
contain.


 Recent
computational
accounts
of
disambiguation
can
also
be
invoked
to
consider
how
differences
in
disambiguation
between
monolinguals
and
multilinguals
might
arise
due
to
the
structure
and
content
of
their
respective
lexicons.
These
accounts
posit
that
when
listeners
hear
a
novel
word,
an
activation
fraction
is
computed
for
each
candidate
referent,
in
our
case
a
novel
object
and
a
familiar
object
(Merriman,
1999;
Regier,
2003).
The
activation
fraction
is
computed
by
summing
the
activation
the
candidate
referent
receives
from
the
novel
word
(forming
the
numerator)
and
dividing
by
the
activation
that
a
candidate
object
receives
from
all
words
in
the
lexicon
(the
denominator).
The
numerator
of
the
activation
fraction
is
similar
for
both
the
familiar
and
novel
objects,
as
it
is
mostly
a
function
of
noise
in
the
system.
The
denominator
is
larger
for
the
familiar
object
than
for
the
novel
object
because
the
familiar
object
is
activated
by
many
words
in
the
lexicon,
while
the
novel
object
is
not.
Because
they
have
similar
numerators
but
the
novel
object
has
a
smaller
denominator,
the
activation
fraction
of
the
novel
object
is
larger
than
that
of
the
familiar
object.
This
makes
it
more
likely
that
the
novel
word
will
become
associated
with
the
novel
object.

 
 89
 
 For
multilinguals,
known
words
from
both
languages
may
contribute
to
the
denominator
of
the
activation
fraction,
as
a
number
of
studies
have
shown
that
words
from
both
the
task
language
and
other
languages
are
active
when
bilingual
adults
perform
auditory
comprehension
tasks
(Blumenfeld
&
Marian,
2007;
Spivey
&
Marian,
1999).
Similarly,
if
words
in
multiple
languages
are
activated
for
infants
performing
disambiguation
tasks,
multilinguals’
activation
ratio
for
the
familiar
object
in
response
to
the
novel
word
would
be
even
smaller
than
monolinguals’,
as
words
from
multiple
languages
are
associated
with
the
familiar
object.
All
else
being
equal,
then,
multilinguals
would
show
even
stronger
disambiguation
than
bilinguals
do,
which
is
opposite
to
the
pattern
we
found.
Admittedly,
computational
accounts
of
disambiguation
have
thus
far
not
explicitly
addressed
the
multilingual
situation,
and
further
it
is
likely
that
all
else
is
not
equal
between
monolingual
and
multilinguals
in
tasks
such
as
disambiguation.
Nevertheless
our
evidence
is
incompatible
with
current
computational
accounts
of
disambiguation.
An
expansion
of
computational
accounts
that
reflects
how
multilinguals
process,
represent,
and
negotiate
among
their
languages,
and
the
role
that
translation
equivalents
might
play,
seems
warranted.

 How
multilingual
infants
negotiate
among
their
languages
has
other
implications
for
a
full
understanding
of
disambiguation.
Our
study
presented
infants
with
a
novel
English
noun
in
the
context
of
a
novel
object
and
a
shoe,
a
highly
familiar
object
for
which
infants
likely
knew
a
word
in
each
of
their
languages.
However,
multilingual
infants
may
sometimes
encounter
a
novel
noun
in
the
context
of
a
novel
object
and
a
familiar
object
that
they
can
only
name
in
one
of
their
languages.
From
a
word‐learning
perspective,
the
interpretation
of
the
novel
noun
should
depend
on
whether
the
task
language
(the
language
in
which
the
novel
noun
is
embedded),
matches
the
language
in
which
the
infant
can
name
the
familiar
object.
When
that
known
word
is
in
the
same
language
as
the
task
(e.g.
the
infant
knows
the
 
 90
 English
word
“shoe”,
and
a
novel
word
is
presented
in
an
English
carrier
phrase)
looking
at
the
novel
object
in
response
to
the
novel
word
is
a
case
of
within‐language
disambiguation.
Like
disambiguation
in
monolinguals,
within‐language
disambiguation
allows
bilinguals
to
avoid
unlikely
referents
for
new
words,
as
it
is
unlikely
that
“shoe”
has
two
English
labels.
However,
if
that
known
word
is
in
the
other
language
(e.g.,
the
infant
knows
the
French
word
“chaussure”,
and
the
novel
word
is
presented
in
an
English
carrier
phrase),
then
looking
at
the
novel
object
in
response
to
a
novel
noun
would
be
a
case
of
between‐language
disambiguation.
Between‐language
disambiguation
might
interfere
with
making
correct
word‐object
associations,
as
a
children
might
avoid
a
correct
referent
for
an
object
simply
because
they
already
know
a
word
for
the
object
in
another
language.
Two
and
3‐year‐old
bilinguals
sometimes
show
this
non‐adaptive,
between‐language
disambiguation
(Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002),
while
older
bilinguals
are
more
likely
to
understand
that
objects
may
have
different
names
in
different
languages
(Au
&
Glusman,
1990).

 Critically,
the
ability
of
bilinguals
to
apply
disambiguation
only
in
a
within‐language
context,
and
to
avoid
applying
it
between
languages,
rests
on
their
ability
to
differentiate
their
two
languages.
Thus
far,
there
has
been
little
consensus
as
to
when
bilinguals
understand
that
different
words
are
part
of
different
languages,
and
even
less
is
known
about
when
they
are
able
to
apply
such
knowledge
in
the
service
of
word
learning
(for
a
review,
see
Paradis,
2001).
Further
studies
of
disambiguation
in
bilinguals
might
simultaneously
be
able
to
inform
the
debate
on
language
differentiation
in
bilinguals,
and
further
illuminate
our
understanding
of
word
learning
heuristics.
To
the
extent
that
bilingual
infants
differ
in
within‐language
versus
between‐language
disambiguation,
this
implies
that
(a)
bilinguals
differentiate
words
as
belonging
to
two
languages
and
(b)
disambiguation
stems
from
the
knowledge
of
an
appropriate
noun
for
the
familiar
object
rather
than
the
novelty
of
the
novel
object.

 
 91
 
 The
developmental
origins
of
word‐learning
biases
remain
largely
unexplored.
The
current
work
significantly
advances
our
understanding
of
these
biases
by
showing
that
different
types
of
early
language
experience
influence
the
emergence
of
one
elemental
word‐learning
heuristic.
More
broadly,
these
results
point
to
the
utility
of
systematic
investigations
of
different
forms
of
early
language
experience
as
a
means
for
better
understanding
fundamental
mechanisms
in
language
acquisition. 
 92
 
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K.
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Z.,
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E.
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Language
experience
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the
development
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Early
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mechanisms
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false‐belief
reasoning.
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Martinez‐Sussman,
C.
(2002).
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caregiver/parent
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language
for
children
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are
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Spanish.
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M.
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Use
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the
mutual
exclusivity
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young
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 98
 5 Knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
influences
how
bilingual
infants
learn
 words12
 5.1 Introduction

 Children
must
be
efficient
word
learners
to
acquire
the
thousands
of
words
that
they
will
eventually
know
in
adulthood.
It
is
well‐established
that
children
and
infants
have
many
word
learning
tools
at
their
disposal,
from
associative
mechanisms
(Smith
&
Yu,
2008;
Werker,
Cohen,
Lloyd,
Casasola,
&
Stager,
1998),
to
an
understanding
of
the
referential
nature
of
words
(Waxman
&
Gelman,
2009).
A
particular
obstacle
that
children
must
overcome
in
learning
new
words
is
the
problem
of
induction:
given
the
many
possible
meanings
of
a
new
word,
how
do
children
know
what
the
“right”
meaning
is?
Fortunately,
children
do
not
consider
just
any
meaning
when
they
hear
a
new
word,
but
rather
systematically
prefer
some
meanings
over
others.
For
example,
children
expect
new
words
to
refer
to
whole
objects
rather
than
to
their
parts
(Golinkoff,
Mervis,
&
Hirsh‐Pasek,
1994;
Markman,
1989),
and
expect
that
nouns
extend
to
other
objects
of
the
same
kind
or
shape
(Landau,
Smith,
&
Jones,
1988;
Markman
&
Hutchinson,
1988;
Soja,
Carey,
&
Spelke,
1991).

 Children
also
show
systematicity
in
how
they
interpret
a
novel
label
when
it
is
uttered
in
the
presence
of
a
familiar
already‐nameable
object
and
another
object
without
a
known
name.
Children
tend
to
assume
that
the
novel
label
goes
with
the
novel
object,
rather
than
with
the
one
that
already
has
a
name,
a
heuristic
known
as
disambiguation
(Merriman
&
Bowman,
1989).
For
example,
imagine
a
young
child
sitting
at
a
kitchen
table,
where
there
is
a
cup
(for
which
the
child
knows
the
label
cup)
and
a
spatula
(an
object
with
which
the
child
is
unfamiliar).
Upon
the
request,
“Give
me
the
spatula”,
children
tend
to
assume
that
 spatula
refers
to
the
long‐handled
utensil,
rather
than
the
round
drinking
vessel.
Numerous






























 





























 
12
A
version
of
this
chapter
will
be
submitted
for
publication.
Byers‐Heinlein,
K.,
&
Werker,
J.F.
(in
preparation).
Knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
influences
how
bilinguals
learn
words.

 
 99
 explanations
have
been
advanced
to
explain
what
underlies
children’s
tendency
to
disambiguate
novel
nouns
in
this
way.
Markman
and
colleagues
have
proposed
that
children
operate
under
an
assumption
that
object
labels
are
mutually
exclusive,
and
thus
avoid
giving
an
object
a
second
name
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988).
Another
proposal
is
the
Novel‐Name‐Nameless
Category
principle
(N3C;
Golinkoff
et
al.,
1994;
Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994),
and
the
related
lexical‐gap
filling
hypothesis
(Merriman
&
Bowman,
1989),
which
suggest
that
children
are
motivated
to
find
a
name
for
each
object.
Socio‐pragmatic
explanations
such
as
the
principle
of
contrast
(Clark,
1990)
and
the
pragmatic
account
(Diesendruck
&
Markson,
2001),
posit
that
children’s
behavior
is
based
on
their
reasoning
about
others’
underlying
intentions,
e.g.
“If
she
had
wanted
the
cup
she
would
have
said
cup,
but
she
said
spatula
so
she
must
have
wanted
the
other
one.”

 Although
each
of
these
accounts
differs
significantly
from
a
theoretical
perspective,
they
frequently
overlap
on
the
predictions
that
they
generate
for
children’s
behavior.
Some
experiments
have
attempted
to
disentangle
the
various
accounts
(e.g.
Diesendruck
&
Markson,
2001;
Jaswal
&
Hansen,
2006;
Markman,
Wasow,
&
Hansen,
2003;
Mervis,
Golinkoff,
&
Bertrand,
1994)
but
no
general
consensus
has
been
reached.
One
way
to
surmount
these
obstacles
is
to
reframe
the
research
questions
that
motivate
empirical
work
on
disambiguation.
Here,
we
build
on
a
growing
developmental
approach,
which
aims
to
better
understand
disambiguation
by
studying
children
across
different
ages
and
from
different
language
backgrounds
(e.g.
Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Halberda,
2003;
Houston‐Price,
Caloghiris,
&
Raviglione,
2010).
These
studies
begin
to
address
three
important
questions
engendered
by
a
developmental
perspective
on
understanding
disambiguation:
1)
what
is
the
developmental
time
course
of
disambiguation,
2)
does
experience
play
a
role
in
the
development
of
disambiguation,
and
3)
if
so
what
type
of
experience
is
necessary
for
 
 100
 disambiguation
to
develop?
This
paper
will
first
review
research
addressing
each
of
these
questions
in
turn.
We
then
describe
the
current
study,
which
addresses
the
role
of
experience
in
the
development
of
disambiguation.
We
test
the
hypothesis
that
it
is
the
one‐to‐one
mapping
structure
between
words
and
concepts
in
children’s
emerging
lexicons
that
enables
them
to
develop
a
disambiguation
word
learning
heuristic.
Our
study
asks
whether
the
structure
of
bilingual
infants’
lexicons,
operationalized
as
the
percentage
of
translation
equivalents
(cross‐language
synonyms)
in
their
vocabularies,
predicts
whether
they
have
developed
the
ability
to
disambiguate
novel
words
at
17‐18
months‐of‐age.
 5.1.1 The
development
of
disambiguation.

 Disambiguation,
while
shown
by
children
across
a
wide
range
of
ages,
is
not
available
when
word
learning
first
begins
late
in
the
first
year
of
life
(Fenson,
Marchman,
Thal,
Dale,
&
Bates,
2007;
Tincoff
&
Jusczyk,
1999;
although
see
Dewar
&
Xu,
2007,
for
evidence
that
9‐month‐olds
expect
distinct
words
to
refer
to
distinct
kinds).
Halberda
(2003)
used
a
preferential
looking
paradigm
to
study
disambiguation
in
infants
who
ranged
in
age
from
14
to
17
months,
to
explore
age‐related
changes
in
disambiguation.
On
disambiguation
trials,
infants
were
shown
a
familiar
and
an
unfamiliar
object
(e.g.
a
car
and
a
phototube)
on
two
side
by
side
monitors,
and
asked
to
“Look
at
the
dax”.
Seventeen‐month‐olds
showed
evidence
of
disambiguating
the
novel
noun
dax
by
increasing
their
attention
to
the
novel
object.
Sixteen
month‐old‐infants
were
at
chance.
However,
14‐month‐old
infants
increased
their
attention
to
the
familiar
object.
Halberda
interpreted
these
results
as
indicative
of
a
process‐of‐elimination
word‐learning
strategy
called
disjunctive
syllogism
(A
or
B,
not
A,
therefore
B),
that
underlies
infants’
disambiguation
of
novel
words.
In
this
case,
the
infant
disambiguates
the
referent
of
the
novel
word
dax
by
implicitly
reasoning,
“Dax
must
refer
to
either
the
car
or
the
phototube.
It’s
not
the
car,
therefore
it
must
be
the
phototube.”
To
complete
the
disjunctive
syllogism,
infants
must
 
 101
 first
rule
out
the
car
as
a
potential
referent
of
dax.
Halberda
argued
that
only
the
oldest
group
of
infants
was
able
to
complete
the
disjunctive
syllogism,
while
younger
infants
got
stuck
on
the
first
step
(the
dax
is
not
the
car)
thereby
increasing
their
attention
to
the
familiar
object
rather
than
to
the
novel
one.
Further
evidence
for
disjunctive
syllogism
as
the
computational
structure
underlying
disambiguation
has
been
demonstrated
in
eye
tracking
studies
with
preschoolers
and
adults
(Halberda,
2006;
see
also
Mather
&
Plunkett,
2009
for
further
evidence
from
infants).

 5.1.2 The
role
of
experience
in
the
development
of
disambiguation.

 Cross‐language
studies
provide
an
ideal
way
to
address
the
question
of
whether
the
documented
age‐related
changes
in
disambiguation
are
related
to
maturation
or
to
experience.
If
disambiguation
develops
in
the
same
time
frame
regardless
of
early
language
experience,
this
would
be
evidence
of
maturation‐based
development.
Conversely,
if
infants
from
different
language
backgrounds
show
different
patterns
in
the
development
of
disambiguation,
then
this
would
provide
evidence
for
a
role
of
early
language
experience.

Several
studies
have
compared
disambiguation
in
infants
growing
up
monolingual
to
infants
growing
up
bi‐
and
multilingual.
Monolinguals
can
disambiguate
a
novel
word
as
early
as
16‐18
months
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Halberda,
2003;
Markman
et
al.,
2003),
and
continue
to
show
disambiguation
in
studies
that
have
tested
infants
a
few
months
older
(Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010;
White
&
Morgan,
2008).
Research
to
date
that
has
looked
at
bilingual
and
multilingual
infants
at
these
same
ages
has
failed
to
find
strong
evidence
for
disambiguation.
Byers‐Heinlein
and
Werker
(2009)
found
that
17‐18
month‐old
bilinguals
showed
only
marginal
evidence
of
disambiguating
a
novel
word,
while
trilinguals
showed
no
evidence
of
using
disambiguation.
A
regression
analysis
across
the
monolingual,
bilingual,
and
trilingual
groups
showed
that
the
number
of
languages
being
learned
by
the
infants
predicted
the
degree
to
which
they
showed
disambiguation:
the
more
 
 102
 languages
being
learned,
the
less
disambiguation
was
shown.
Houston‐Price
and
colleagues
similarly
found
no
evidence
of
disambiguation
in
17‐22
month‐old
bilinguals
(Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010).
Evidence
of
less
robust
use
of
disambiguation
in
bilinguals
has
also
been
shown
with
preschool
and
school‐aged
children
(e.g.
Davidson,
Jergovic,
Imami,
&
Theodos,
1997;
Diesendruck,
2005;
Merriman
&
Kutlesic,
1993;
but
see
also
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002;
Merriman
&
Kutlesic,
1993).
By
testing
monolinguals
and
multilinguals
of
the
same
age
using
identical
procedures,
the
studies
of
Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker
(2009)
and
Houston‐Price
and
colleagues
(2010)
provide
strong
evidence
that
early
language
experience
influences
the
development
of
disambiguation.
 5.1.3 One­to­one
mapping
and
the
impact
of
translation
equivalents.

 The
question
still
remains
as
to
why
monolingual
but
not
bilingual
experience
supports
the
development
of
disambiguation
by
17‐18
months.
Monolingual
infants
typically
encounter
one
basic
level
label
for
each
object,
and
it
has
been
hypothesized
this
experience
could
lead
to
word
learning
principles
including
those
underlying
disambiguation
(Golinkoff
et
al.,
1994;
Mervis
&
Bertrand,
1994).
Indeed,
there
is
some
evidence
that
for
monolingual
children,
disambiguation
develops
with
growing
vocabulary
knowledge,
perhaps
due
to
mounting
evidence
for
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
words
and
the
concepts
they
label.
Mervis
and
Bertrand
(1994)
tested
16‐20
month‐old
infants
in
a
task
that
did
not
require
disambiguation
per
se,
but
rather
a
related
skill
−
fast
mapping
of
a
novel
label
to
a
novel
object
given
direct
labeling
evidence.
Mervis
and
Bertrand
reported
that
only
the
infants
with
the
largest
productive
vocabularies
were
able
to
succeed
in
the
fast
mapping
task,
and
concluded
that
disambiguation
develops
when
infants
have
the
insight
that
each
object
should
have
a
name.
Clearer
evidence
for
a
link
between
lexical
knowledge
and
disambiguation
comes
from
a
group
of
17‐22
month‐old
English‐learning
infants
tested
in
a
preferential
looking
paradigm.
Infants’
tendency
to
disambiguate
a
novel
 
 103
 label
was
significantly
correlated
with
their
receptive
vocabulary
size
(r=.33;
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010).
Unlike
monolinguals,
bilinguals
do
not
experience
predominantly
one‐to‐one
mappings,
rather
they
typically
encounter
two
basic‐level
labels
for
each
object,
one
in
each
language.
Bilinguals’
knowledge
of
two
labels
for
the
same
referent
could
thus
fail
to
promote
the
emergence
of
disambiguation
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Davidson
&
Tell,
2005;
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002;
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010).
In
their
N3C
account,
Mervis
and
Bertrand
(1994)
put
forward
the
notion
that
disambiguation
develops
in
monolingual
infants
as
they
learn
new
words,
because
children
have
the
insight
that
each
object
has
a
name.
Under
N3C,
children’s
experience
teaches
them
that
objects
tend
to
have
names,
and
thus
when
they
encounter
a
“nameless
category”
as
exemplified
by
a
novel
object
they
seek
out
a
“novel
name”
for
this
object.
The
N3C
account
thus
predicts
that
just
like
monolinguals,
bilinguals
should
develop
disambiguation
as
their
vocabularies
grow,
because
encountering
multiple
labels
for
each
object
does
not
negate
the
notion
that
objects
should
have
names.
This
prediction
has
thus
far
not
been
supported
by
studies
of
young
bilinguals,
which
have
shown
that
even
given
similar
vocabulary
sizes
in
the
language
of
testing,
bilinguals
and
monolinguals
do
not
develop
disambiguation
at
the
same
age
(Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010).
To
provide
a
unified
account
of
the
early
development
of
disambiguation
in
both
monolinguals
and
bilinguals,
Byers‐Heinlein
and
Werker
(2009)
put
forward
the
“lexicon
structure
hypothesis”.
The
lexicon
structure
hypothesis
posits
that
an
infant
(monolingual
or
multilingual)
will
use
disambiguation
when
their
lexicon
supports
a
notion
of
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
a
label
and
the
concept
it
names.
The
degree
of
conformity
to,
or
violation
of,
one‐to‐one
mappings
in
the
lexicon
can
be
measured
by
determining
the
number
of
translation
equivalents
in
a
bilingual
infant’s
lexicon.
Translation
equivalents
are
pairs
of
 
 104
 words
in
the
bilingual
lexicon
that
are
cross‐language
synonyms.
Each
translation
equivalent
pair
that
a
bilingual
knows
could
provide
evidence
that
is
contrary
to
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
words
and
concepts.

There
have
been
at
least
three
large‐scale
studies
to
date
which
have
attempted
to
quantify
the
number
of
translation
equivalents
known
by
bilingual
infants.
Two
studies
used
the
MacArthur‐Bates
communicative
development
inventories
(CDIs;
Fenson
et
al.,
2007).
The
CDIs
measure
children’s
vocabularies
through
parental
checklists,
and
have
been
adapted
for
use
in
a
number
of
different
languages.
Pearson
and
colleagues
examined
children’s
production
of
translation
equivalents
(Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1995).
In
a
study
of
Spanish‐English
bilinguals
aged
between
8
and
30
months‐old,
children
knew
a
translation
equivalent
for
about
30%
of
the
words
in
their
vocabularies.
Children’s
comprehension
of
translation
equivalents,
rather
than
their
production,
was
examined
by
De
Houwer
and
colleagues
in
a
study
of
13‐month‐old
French‐Dutch
bilinguals
(De
Houwer,
Bornstein,
&
De
Coster,
2006).
On
average,
infants
knew
translation
equivalents
for
a
mean
of
18%
of
the
words
in
their
comprehension
vocabularies,
with
a
wide
range
from
less
than
1%
to
62%.
Children
who
had
the
largest
vocabularies
tended
to
know
the
most
translation
equivalents
as
a
percentage
of
their
total
vocabulary
size.
In
a
study
using
the
Peabody
Picture
Vocabulary
Test
with
a
large
sample
of
English‐Spanish
bilingual
first‐graders,
children
could
understand
approximately
65%
of
words
in
both
of
their
languages
(Umbel,
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1992),
again
suggesting
that
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
grows
as
children
learn
more
words
and
“fill
in”
missing
words.
Two
findings
have
been
established:
disambiguation
develops
later
in
bilinguals
than
in
monolinguals,
and
bilinguals
know
translation
equivalents
from
early
in
life.
However,
these
two
observations
are
insufficient
to
test
the
causal
hypothesis
that
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
influences
their
development
of
 
 105
 disambiguation.
It
could
be
that
some
other
aspect
of
bilingualism
causes
bilinguals
to
develop
disambiguation
later
than
monolinguals
do.
For
example,
it
is
theoretically
possible
that
a
critical
mass
of
words
in
a
single
language
is
necessary
for
the
emergence
of
disambiguation
in
that
language
(although
see
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010,
for
data
inconsistent
with
this
possibility).
Bilinguals
may
know
fewer
words
from
each
individual
language
than
a
same‐aged
monolingual
because
their
vocabularies
are
divided
between
two
languages.

To
test
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis,
and
rule
out
other
potential
explanations,
it
is
necessary
to
directly
assess
whether
knowledge
of
translation
equivalent
affects
the
development
of
disambiguation
in
bilingual
infants.
Compelling
evidence
would
be
provided
if
individual
children’s
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
predicts
whether
they
use
disambiguation.
A
negative
relationship
is
expected:
those
children
whose
vocabularies
are
characterized
by
the
most
translation
equivalents
should
show
the
least
use
of
disambiguation.
Two
studies
to
date
have
investigated
the
relationship
between
disambiguation
and
translation
equivalents,
but
while
results
were
suggestive,
they
did
not
allow
for
strong
conclusions
to
be
drawn.
In
their
study
of
disambiguation
in
17‐22
month‐old
bilinguals,
Houston‐Price
and
colleagues
(2010)
collected
data
on
the
infants’
comprehension
vocabularies
in
each
language.
Because
children
were
all
learning
English
plus
another
language
which
varied
across
the
sample,
parents
filled
out
a
short
form
of
the
Oxford
Communicative
Inventory
for
British
English
(Hamilton,
Plunkett,
&
Schafer,
2000),
with
columns
to
indicate
the
infant’s
understanding
of
the
word
in
English
and
in
their
other
language.
On
average,
infants
knew
84
pairs
of
words
that
were
understood
in
both
of
their
languages,
or
about
38%
of
their
total
receptive
vocabulary
size
based
on
their
English
and
other
language
vocabularies
as
reported
in
the
paper.
The
correlation
between
the
number
 
 106
 of
translation
equivalents
they
knew
and
their
disambiguation
performance
was
in
the
predicted
direction(r(19)=
‐.29),
but
this
did
not
reach
statistical
significance
given
their
sample
size
(p=.23).
Non‐significant
trends
were
found
between
infants’
disambiguation
performance
and
their
non‐English
vocabulary
size
(r=‐.40,
p=.09),
as
well
as
with
their
total
vocabulary
size
(r=‐.37,
p=.12).
The
authors
did
not
examine
whether
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
as
a
percentage
of
vocabulary
size
correlated
with
performance.
The
second
study
that
investigated
the
relationship
between
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
and
word
learning
was
done
by
Frank
and
Poulin‐Dubois
(2002).
They
tested
27‐
and
35‐month‐old
French‐English
bilinguals,
and
children
who
were
monolingual
in
these
languages,
on
their
willingness
to
learn
two
labels
for
the
same
object.
Under
the
mutual
exclusivity
framework
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988),
children
assume
that
each
object
should
only
have
one
name.
Adherence
to
mutual
exclusivity
can
be
tested
in
multiple
ways,
including
both
the
disambiguation
of
a
novel
label
by
associating
it
with
a
novel
object,
and
by
testing
whether
children
avoid
mapping
two
labels
to
the
same
object
when
no
novel
object
is
present.
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois
tested
this
second
consequence
of
the
mutual
exclusivity
assumption.
They
found
that
both
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
avoided
mapping
two
labels
to
the
same
object,
and
the
effect
was
stronger
for
older
children
than
for
younger
children.
The
authors
also
related
performance
to
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents.
The
27‐month
old
bilinguals
knew
an
average
of
47%
translation
equivalents
(range
9‐79%),
and
the
35‐month–olds
knew
an
average
of
51%
translation
equivalents
(range:
1‐95%).
Those
children
who
knew
the
greatest
proportion
of
translation
equivalents
were
the
most
likely
to
map
two
labels
onto
the
same
object,
thereby
violating
mutual
exclusivity.
Correlations
between
%
translation
equivalents
and
adherence
to
mutual
exclusivity
(#
of
trials
on
which
behavior
was
consistent
with
mutual
exclusivity)
were
‐.27
for
27‐month‐olds,
and
‐.20
for
35‐month‐olds.
Again,
although
they
 
 107
 were
in
the
predicted
direction,
these
correlations
were
not
statistically
significant
given
the
sample
sizes
(Nyounger=26,
Nolder=28).
The
fact
that
no
behavioral
difference
was
seen
between
monolingual
and
bilinguals’
word
learning
could
have
made
it
less
likely
to
observe
an
influence
of
translation
equivalents.
 5.1.4 Overview
of
the
current
study.
To
summarize,
disambiguation
is
a
word
learning
heuristic
whereby
infants
tend
to
associate
a
novel
word
with
a
novel
object
rather
than
with
a
familiar
one.
It
has
long
been
hypothesized
that
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
differ
in
their
use
of
disambiguation
because
of
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents,
words
from
different
languages
which
name
the
same
referent.
The
lexicon
structure
hypothesis
posits
that
disambiguation
develops
with
mounting
evidence
for
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
words
and
their
referents,
and
predicts
that
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
will
therefore
impede
the
development
of
disambiguation
in
bilingual
infants.
Thus
far,
two
studies
have
found
the
predicted
negative
relationship
between
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
and
use
of
disambiguation
or
a
related
word‐learning
behavior,
but
in
neither
study
was
the
relationship
statistically
significant.
The
current
study
was
designed
to
provide
a
more
sensitive
test
of
whether
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
influences
early
word
learning,
specifically
infants’
use
of
disambiguation.
If
translation
equivalents
influence
the
development
of
disambiguation,
then
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
might
have
the
greatest
impact
in
bilinguals
around
the
age
when
disambiguation
first
emerges
in
monolinguals.

We
tested
disambiguation
in
English‐Chinese
bilingual
infants,
between
17
and
18
months‐of‐age,
and
used
the
English
and
Chinese
versions
of
the
CDI
to
quantify
the
translation
equivalents
that
they
knew.
Although
previous
research
has
shown
that,
as
a
group,
bilinguals
do
not
show
disambiguation
in
this
paradigm
at
this
age
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
 
 108
 Werker,
2009;
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010),
there
is
significant
variability
in
their
performance.
The
current
study
examined
whether
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
can
explain
this
variation.
There
are
two
ways
in
which
one
might
quantify
the
degree
of
overlap
in
bilinguals’
vocabularies.
One
approach
is
to
simply
count
the
number
of
translation
equivalents
known
by
bilinguals.
A
second
approach
is
to
consider
the
proportion
of
the
total
vocabulary
that
these
translation
equivalents
represent.
We
reasoned
that
a
proportion
measure
would
be
the
most
sensitive,
as
this
would
normalize
the
number
of
translation
equivalents
according
to
infants’
total
vocabulary
size,
thus
giving
a
better
characterization
of
the
structure
of
their
lexicons.
It
was
predicted
that
those
children
whose
vocabularies
contained
the
smallest
proportion
of
translation
equivalents
would
show
the
strongest
use
of
disambiguation,
while
those
whose
vocabularies
contained
a
larger
proportion
of
translation
equivalents
would
show
the
weakest
use
of
disambiguation.


 To
rule
out
the
possibility
that
translation
equivalents
affect
children’s
general
performance
in
a
two‐choice
recognition
task,
rather
than
just
their
disambiguation
of
novel
words,
we
tested
infants
in
a
control
task
of
familiar
word
recognition.
It
was
expected
that
knowledge
of
the
task
language
(English)
would
predict
infants’
performance
on
the
familiar
word
recognition
trials,
but
that
their
familiar
word
recognition
would
be
unrelated
to
their
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents.

 5.2 Methods
 5.2.1 Participants.

 A
total
of
20
(12
female)
bilingual
infants
learning
English
and
Chinese
(either
Cantonese
or
Mandarin)
were
included
in
the
study,
with
a
mean
age
of
17m27d
(range:
17m17d
to
18m12d).
Nine
additional
infants
were
tested
but
excluded
from
the
analyses
 
 109
 because
the
infant
was
too
restless
or
inattentive
to
complete
the
study
(4),
the
infant
had
a
major
health
concern
(2),
or
because
the
infant
was
not
reported
to
understand
any
of
the
familiar
English
words
used
in
the
study
(2).
 5.2.1.1 Language
background.

 Infants
came
from
homes
where
English
and
Chinese
had
been
spoken
regularly
since
the
infant
was
born.
Fifteen
bilinguals
were
hearing
English
and
Cantonese,
and
5
were
hearing
English
and
Mandarin.
Most
(but
not
all)
parents
were
ethnically
Chinese,
and
typically
one
or
both
parents
was
Canadian‐born
or
had
been
raised
in
Canada
and
had
completed
the
majority
of
his/her
education
in
English.
The
Language
Exposure
Questionnaire
was
used
to
assess
bilinguals
infants’
exposure
to
each
language
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997).
On
average,
infants
heard
English
49%
of
the
time
(range:
27%
to
75%)
and
Chinese
49%
of
the
time
(range:
25%
to
73%).
The
percentages
do
not
add
up
to
100
as
one
infant
was
hearing
a
small
amount
of
a
third
language
(7%).
 5.2.2 Materials.
 5.2.2.1 Vocabulary
measure.

 Estimates
of
infants’
English
vocabulary
size
were
obtained
by
asking
parents
to
complete
the
Words
and
Gestures
form
of
the
MacArthur‐Bates
Communicative
Development
Inventory
(CDI;
Fenson
et
al.,
2007)
which
has
shown
high
validity
in
at
least
one
bilingual
sample
(Marchman
&
Martinez‐Sussman,
2002).
Estimates
of
infants’
Chinese
vocabularies
were
obtained
via
the
equivalent
Mandarin
or
Cantonese
version
(as
appropriate)
of
the
CDI
(Tardif
&
Fletcher,
2008).
The
total
number
of
items
across
the
forms
was
similar:
396
English,
410
Mandarin,
and
388
Cantonese.
The
use
of
the
Words
and
Gestures
form
allowed
measurement
of
both
infants’
word
comprehension
and
their
word
production.
Where
possible,
the
parent
who
was
most
familiar
with
the
child’s
 
 110
 vocabulary
in
a
particular
language
completed
the
form.
In
4
cases,
the
parents
failed
to
return
complete
CDI
forms
for
one
or
both
languages.
These
infants
were
included
in
analyses
of
the
groups’
performance
on
the
behavioral
task,
but
not
included
in
descriptive
analyses
of
vocabulary
data,
or
in
analyses
assessing
the
relationship
between
vocabulary
measures
and
performance
on
the
behavioral
tasks.

 A
trilingual
research
assistant
who
was
a
native
Cantonese‐Mandarin
bilingual
and
had
moved
to
an
English‐speaking
country
in
childhood,
identified
word
pairs
in
the
English
and
Chinese
CDIs
that
were
translation
equivalents
(e.g.
English
dog
and
Mandarin
gǒu/
Cantonese
gáu).
She
verified
all
English‐Cantonese
pairings
with
an
English‐Cantonese
bilingual,
and
all
English‐Mandarin
pairings
with
an
English‐Mandarin
bilingual.
In
some
cases,
English
and
Chinese
lexicalize
the
same
concept
differently.
For
example,
whereas
English
has
the
single
word
brother,
Chinese
has
separate
words
gēge
for
older
brother
and
 dìdi
for
younger
brother.
Thus,
if
the
child
knew
the
English
word
brother
and
the
Mandarin
words
gēge
and
dìdi,
these
three
words
counted
as
two
pairs
because
they
encode
two
different
concepts.
There
were
297
English‐Cantonese
pairs,
and
294
English‐Mandarin
pairs.
 Some
previous
investigations
of
children’s
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
have
restricted
analyses
to
those
words
that
had
a
translation
equivalent
on
the
other
CDI
form
(De
Houwer
et
al.,
2006;
Pearson
et
al.,
1995).
In
these
studies,
the
translation
equivalent
pairs
a
child
knew
were
counted,
and
this
was
divided
by
the
total
number
of
pairs
across
the
two
CDIs.
Words
on
the
CDI
without
a
translation
equivalent
were
excluded
from
the
calculation.
This
method
avoids
underestimating
the
proportion
of
children’s
vocabularies
that
have
translation
equivalents.
At
the
same
time,
this
method
is
more
likely
to
overestimate
the
proportion
of
children’s
vocabulary
that
has
a
translation
equivalent.
As
with
all
adaptations
of
the
CDI,
the
Mandarin
and
Cantonese
CDIs
do
not
share
some
English
 
 111
 items
that
were
unlikely
to
be
known
in
Chinese
(e.g.
Cheerios)
and
instead
have
items
that
are
more
culturally
and
linguistically
relevant
(e.g.
congee).
Parents
might
therefore
be
more
likely
to
talk
about
Cheerios
when
speaking
English
and
congee
when
speaking
Chinese,
making
it
less
likely
that
a
child
knows
the
translation
equivalent
for
these
words.
This
means
that
the
words
with
a
translation
equivalent
on
the
other
form
may
be
those
that
the
child
is
most
likely
to
know
in
both
languages,
while
those
words
without
a
translation
equivalent
may
be
those
words
that
the
child
is
less
likely
to
know
in
both
languages.
We
thus
chose
to
include
all
words
reported
on
the
CDIs
in
both
languages
in
calculating
the
percentage
of
translation
equivalents
that
each
child
knew,
to
avoid
overestimations.
 5.2.2.2 Experimental
stimuli.

 Visual
stimuli
consisted
of
four
brightly‐colored
objects,
three
familiar
(ball,
car,
and
shoe)
and
one
novel.
The
novel
object
was
a
slightly
modified
version
of
a
phototube
from
the
TarrLab
Object
DataBank
(1996).
The
objects
were
presented
on
a
black
background
in
consistent
pairs:
car‐ball
and
phototube‐shoe.
The
objects
appeared
in
different
colors
on
different
trials
to
maintain
infant
interest,
and
to
ensure
generalization
across
different‐colored
exemplars
of
the
same
object
category.

 Auditory
stimuli
were
recorded
by
a
female
native
English
speaker
who
spoke
in
an
infant‐directed
style.
The
stimuli
consisted
of
three
labels
that
named
the
familiar
objects‐
 ball,
car,
shoe,
and
one
label
that
named
the
novel
phototube
object
–
nil.
Nil
was
chosen
as
the
novel
label
because
it
is
not
a
possible
Mandarin
or
Cantonese
word.
Although
nil
is
a
real
word
for
English‐speaking
adults,
its
infrequent
use
and
abstract
meaning
make
it
unlikely
that
infants
are
familiar
with
this
word.
Each
label
was
recorded
in
isolation,
and
with
three
carrier
phrases,
“Look
at
the
___”,
“Find
the
___”,
and
“Where
is
the
___”.
For
each
 
 112
 trial,
the
label
was
presented
once
embedded
in
a
carrier
phrase
(chosen
quasi‐randomly),
and
again
in
isolation
(e.g.,
“Look
at
the
ball!
Ball!”).


 To
ensure
that
infants
were
likely
to
know
the
familiar
words
used
in
this
study,
we
examined
infants’
reported
comprehension
on
the
corresponding
CDI
items.
Most
relevant
to
the
study
was
infants’
understanding
of
the
words
in
English,
the
language
of
testing.
Comprehension
of
ball,
car,
and
shoe
ranged
from
80‐100%.
Nearly
all
infants
were
reported
to
also
know
the
Chinese
translations
of
these
words,
with
reported
comprehension
ranging
from
94‐100%
of
infants.
Therefore,
the
vast
majority
of
infants
were
reported
to
understand
the
test
words
in
both
English
and
Chinese.
 5.2.2.3 Apparatus.

 Data
were
collected
using
a
Tobii
1750
eye
tracking
system,
which
consisted
of
an
LCD
monitor
for
the
presentation
of
visual
stimuli
with
a
built‐in
eye
tracking
camera.
Infrared
lights
shone
from
panels
surrounding
the
monitor,
and
the
reflection
of
this
light
from
the
infants’
cornea
provided
data
for
precise
location
of
the
infant’s
gaze.
Auditory
stimuli
were
presented
via
computer
speakers
located
behind
a
black
cardboard
panel,
on
either
side
of
the
eye
tracker.
A
PC
computer
running
the
Tobii
Clearview
software
program
both
controlled
the
stimulus
presentation
and
collected
the
eye
tracking
data.

 5.2.3 Procedure.

 Infants
were
tested
in
a
dimly‐lit,
sound‐attenuated
room.13
The
experimenter
controlled
the
study
from
a
computer
and
a
closed‐circuit
TV
monitor,
located
in
a
screened‐off
area
of
the
same
room.
Before
commencing
the
study,
the
experimenter
settled
the
infant
on
the
parent’s
lap,
and
positioned
the
eye
tracking
monitor
approximately
60cm
away
from
the
infant’s
eyes.
Parents
wore
a
blindfold
or
closed
their
eyes
for
the
duration
of






























 





























 
13
See
Appendix
4
for
University
of
British
Columbia
Research
Ethics
Board
approval
certificate
for
the
studies
reported
in
this
paper.
 
 113
 the
study
in
order
to
avoid
biasing
the
infant.
Once
the
infant
was
settled,
the
experimenter
initiated
a
five‐point
infant
calibration
routine.
Following
calibration,
testing
began.

 At
the
beginning
of
testing,
each
infant
saw
a
warm‐up
trial
during
which
a
spinning
waterwheel
appeared
sequentially
on
each
side
of
the
monitor.
Experimental
trials
began
immediately
following
the
warm‐up.
On
each
trial,
the
object
pair
first
appeared
in
silence
on
the
monitor
for
3
seconds,
so
that
infants’
baseline
preference
for
each
object
could
be
measured.
Immediately
following
the
silent
baseline,
an
auditory
stimulus
was
played
that
named
one
of
the
objects
(e.g.,
“Look
at
the
ball!
Ball!”).
The
objects
then
remained
in
silence
on
the
monitor,
such
that
the
total
trial
length
was
9.5
seconds.
After
the
test
phase
was
completed,
the
unlabeled
object
disappeared,
while
the
labeled
object
moved
around
on
the
monitor
for
2
seconds
with
accompanying
music.
Previous
studies
of
word
comprehension
have
suggested
that
such
visual
feedback
keeps
infants
on‐task
in
preferential
looking
studies
(Killing
&
Bishop,
2008).
The
results
of
past
studies
using
the
same
paradigm
have
found
no
evidence
that
this
reinforcement
drives
infants’
performance
on
novel
label
trials
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Halberda,
2003).

 Infants
were
presented
with
24
test
trials,
in
four
blocks
of
six
trials
per
block.
The
first
and
third
blocks
consisted
of
known
vs.
known
trials
(ball‐car),
while
the
second
and
fourth
blocks
consisted
of
known
vs.
novel
trials
(shoe‐nil).
Each
object
was
labeled
on
half
of
the
trials
in
which
it
appeared,
thus
a
total
of
six
times.
Each
infant
saw
the
objects
in
a
consistent
configuration
throughout
all
the
trials
(e.g.
ball
on
left,
car
on
right).
Eight
stimulus
orders
were
created
to
counterbalance
side
and
order
of
presentation
across
infants.
A
bright
circular
pattern
was
presented
in
the
center
of
the
monitor
between
trials,
to
ensure
that
trials
began
with
a
central
visual
fixation.
The
total
duration
of
the
study
was
approximately
7
minutes.
 
 114
 
 Infant
eye‐gaze
data
were
collected
at
20
ms
intervals
by
the
eye
tracker,
and
each
time
interval
was
classified
as
a
look
towards
the
left
side
object,
a
look
towards
the
right
side
object,
or
failure
to
look
towards
either
object.
Data
were
equated
to
the
onset
of
each
label
for
each
trial,
so
that
they
could
be
collapsed
across
trial
type
in
order
to
measure
the
infant’s
success
at
orienting
to
the
labeled
object.

 Following
the
experimental
session,
families
returned
to
the
reception
area
while
the
parents
completed
the
Language
Exposure
Questionnaire,
an
English
version
of
the
CDI
(Fenson
et
al.,
2007),
and
a
Chinese
version
of
the
CDI
(Tardif
&
Fletcher,
2008).
 5.3 Results
 5.3.1 Vocabulary
measures.
Infants’
vocabularies
were
quantified
in
several
ways
(see
Table
5.1
for
detailed
descriptive
statistics).
Parallel
values
were
computed
for
comprehension
vocabulary
(words
that
the
child
could
understand)
and
production
vocabulary
(words
that
the
child
could
say).
The
total
number
of
words
children
understood
across
both
their
languages
averaged
341,
and
the
total
number
produced
averaged
61.
However,
unlike
monolinguals
for
whom
production
and
comprehension
are
typically
highly
correlated
(Fenson
et
al.,
2007),
the
correlation
between
comprehension
and
production
of
words
summed
across
both
English
and
Chinese
(total
vocabulary
size)
was
not
significant,
r(14)=.24,
p=.36.
Examining
each
language
separately,
there
was
a
significant
correlation
between
English
comprehension
and
production,
r(14)=.69,
p=.003,
but
not
between
comprehension
and
production
in
Chinese,
r(14)=.10,
p=.70.
Children
understood
on
average
54
(SD=95)
more
words
in
Chinese
than
in
English,
which
was
a
statistically
significant
difference
t(15)
=2.249,
p=.04,
d=.56.
Children
could
produce
10
(SD=29)
more
words
in
English
than
in
Chinese,
but
this
difference
was
not
significant,
t(14)=1.30,
p=.21,
d=.33.

 
 115
 
The
total
number
of
translation
equivalent
pairs
was
counted
in
the
manner
described
above.
All
infants
had
at
least
some
translation
equivalents
in
their
comprehension
vocabularies,
and
all
but
two
had
translation
equivalents
in
their
productive
vocabularies.
Children
could
understand
87
pairs
on
average,
and
could
produce
9
pairs,
but
these
two
measures
were
not
significantly
correlated,
r(16)=.21,
p=.44.
To
quantify
the
degree
to
which
infants’
vocabularies
overlapped,
the
percentage
of
infants’
vocabularies
that
constituted
translation
equivalents
was
calculating
by
taking
the
total
number
of
words
for
which
the
infant
knew
a
translation
equivalent,
and
dividing
by
the
total
vocabulary
size.
On
average,
46%
of
the
words
that
children
understood
had
a
translation
equivalent,
while
the
same
was
true
for
26%
of
words
in
production.
The
total
conceptual
vocabulary
was
calculated
as
the
number
of
meanings
lexicalized
by
the
child,
thus
the
total
vocabulary
minus
the
number
of
redundant
words
whose
meaning
was
captured
by
its
translation
equivalent.
In
comprehension,
children
had
lexicalized
an
average
of
260
meanings,
and
could
produce
words
for
a
mean
of
53
meanings.
No
significant
correlation
was
found
between
comprehension
and
production
for
children’s
total
conceptual
vocabularies,
r(14)=.27,
p=.32.
Pearson
and
colleagues
have
suggested
that
bilinguals’
total
conceptual
vocabulary
(Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1993)
is
the
most
comparable
to
monolinguals’
vocabulary
size.
An
examination
of
lexical
norms
on
the
English
CDI
(Fenson
et
al.,
2007)
showed
that
bilinguals’
average
comprehension
of
concepts
in
this
study
was
at
the
50th
percentile
reported
for
18‐month‐old
monolingual
English‐learners,
and
identical
to
the
average
comprehension
vocabulary
of
a
previous
sample
of
same‐aged
English
monolinguals
living
in
the
same
community
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
see
Chapter
3)
.
However,
bilinguals’
average
production
was
only
at
the
20th
percentile
on
monolingual
English
norms,
and
was
on
average
23
words
smaller
than
the
 
 116
 monolingual
community
comparison
group
reported
in
a
previous
paper
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Chapter
3).
 Table
5.1:
Infants’
vocabulary
data
across
a
range
of
measures.
 Comprehension
 Production
 Mean
(SD)
 Range
 
 Mean
(SD)
 Range
English
vocabulary
 144
(76)
 26‐255
 
 36
(29)
 3‐109
Chinese
vocabulary
 198
(71)
 67‐287
 
 26
(26)
 0‐101
Total
vocabulary
 341
(112)
 165‐496
 
 61
(47)
 5‐155
Total
conceptual
 260
(68)
 140‐351
 
 53
(40)
 5‐132
#
translation
equivalent
pairs

 87
(50)
 23‐165
 
 9
(8)
 0‐24
%
words
with
a
translation
equivalent

 46
(14)
 17‐66
 
 26
(17)
 0‐71
 5.3.2 Behavioral
task.

 Based
on
previous
work
identifying
the
minimum
time
needed
to
process
a
word
and
initiate
an
eye
movement
(Dahan,
Swingley,
Tanenhaus,
&
Magnuson,
2000),
as
well
as
the
typical
length
of
time
that
infants
sustain
fixation
after
responding
to
a
word
(Dahan
et
al.,
2000;
Fernald,
Perfors,
&
Marchman,
2006;
Swingley,
Pinto,
&
Fernald,
1999),
an
analysis
window
of
360‐2000ms
after
the
onset
of
the
target
word
was
identified
(as
in
Chapter
4;
Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009).
Infants’
responses
to
both
the
familiar
words
and
the
novel
word
were
analyzed
only
in
this
time
window.
Trials
where
infants
looked
750ms
or
less
were
excluded
from
the
analysis.

 An
individual
baseline
score
was
calculated
for
each
infant,
as
the
proportion
of
time
the
infant
looked
at
a
particular
object
during
the
3
second
silent
baseline
period
on
all
trials
in
which
that
object
was
onscreen.
Trials
during
which
the
infant
looked
less
than
1
out
of
the
3
seconds
were
excluded
from
the
calculation.
Infants
tended
to
show
more
 
 117
 interest
during
baseline
to
the
familiar
objects
as
opposed
to
the
novel
object,
t(19)=3.00,
 p=.007,
d=.67.
This
replicates
previous
findings
that
infants
prefer
to
look
at
objects
with
known
names
over
other
objects
(Schafer,
Plunkett,
&
Harris,
1999).
Thus,
to
control
for
inherent
baseline
preferences,
and
as
in
Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker
(2009;
presented
in
Chapter
4),
all
subsequent
analyses
were
conducted
with
difference
scores,
which
subtracted
each
individual’s
baseline
preference
from
the
proportion
of
time
they
looked
at
the
target
object
after
labeling.
A
positive
difference
score
therefore
indicates
increased
looking
at
the
target
object
after
labeling.

 Familiar
label
trials
were
analyzed
first.
A
preliminary
between‐subjects
ANOVA
showed
that
infants’
performance
on
familiar
label
trials
did
not
vary
as
a
function
of
object,
 F(2,38)=1.86,
p=.17,
η2p=.089,
therefore
data
were
collapsed
across
the
three
familiar
objects.
A
one‐tailed
t‐test
indicated
that
infants
significantly
increased
their
looking
towards
the
familiar
target
upon
hearing
its
label,
M=.072,
SD=.15,
t(19)=2.15,
p=.023,
 d=.48.
Next,
a
one‐tailed
analysis
was
performed
to
examine
whether,
as
a
group,
infants
disambiguated
the
novel
noun
by
orienting
to
the
novel
object.
As
a
group,
Chinese‐English
bilinguals
did
not
show
disambiguation,
M=.060,
SD=.30,
t(19)=.89,
p=.19,
d=.20.
Finally,
a
correlation
was
computed
between
infants’
performance
on
familiar
label
and
novel
label
trials.
No
significant
correlation
was
found,
r(18)=‐.25,
p=.29.
High
levels
of
variability
amongst
responses
for
both
familiar
label
trials
and
novel
label
trials
motivated
an
examination
of
whether
individual
differences
contributed
to
the
results.
 5.3.3 Relation
of
performance
to
English
vocabulary
size.

 As
the
task
was
in
English,
it
was
reasonable
to
evaluate
whether
infants’
English
vocabulary
size
affected
their
performance.
It
was
predicted
that
those
infants
with
higher
English
vocabularies
would
show
the
best
performance
on
familiar
label
trials,
but
that
English
vocabulary
would
not
affect
performance
on
novel
label
trials.
A
median
split
was
 
 118
 performed
based
on
children’s
English
comprehension
vocabularies.
The
low‐vocabulary
group
ranged
from
understanding
26‐130
words
(M=83,
SD=41),
and
the
high‐vocabulary
group
ranged
from
understanding
136‐255
words
(M=205,
SD=47).
 5.3.3.1 Familiar
label
trials.
The
high
vocabulary
group
did
marginally
better
than
the
low‐vocabulary
group
on
familiar
label
trials,
t(14)
=
1.47,
p=.08,
d=.74.
Independent‐samples
t‐tests
confirmed
that
the
high‐vocabulary
group
showed
a
significant
tendency
to
increase
attention
to
the
familiar
object
upon
hearing
its
label,
M=.10,
SD=.14,
t(7)=2.13,
p=.035,
d=.75.
Six
out
of
8
infants
in
the
high
vocabulary
group
had
a
positive
difference
score.
However,
in
the
low‐vocabulary
group
there
was
not
a
significant
increase
in
attention
to
the
familiar
object,
M=‐.03,
SD=.32,
p=.746,
d=.02,
two‐tailed.
Only
4
out
of
8
infants
in
the
low‐vocabulary
group
increased
their
attention
to
the
familiar
objects
upon
hearing
their
labels.
When
examined
continuously
rather
than
in
a
dichotomously,
a
non‐significant
positive
correlation
was
found
between
English
vocabulary
size
and
performance
on
familiar
label
trials,
r(14)=.36,
p=.17.
 5.3.3.2 Novel
label
trials.
As
predicted,
for
novel
label
trials,
there
was
no
significant
difference
in
performance
between
the
high‐vocabulary
and
the
low‐vocabulary
groups,
t(14)=1.00,
 p=.17,
d=.50.
Further,
no
significant
correlation
was
found
between
infants’
vocabulary
size
and
their
performance
on
novel
label
trials,
r(14)=‐.17,
p=.53.
 5.3.4 Relationship
of
performance
to
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents.
The
main
hypothesis
was
that
infants’
use
of
disambiguation
would
be
related
to
the
structure,
rather
than
to
the
size,
of
their
lexicons.
Lexical
structure
was
operationalized
as
the
proportion
of
words
in
infants’
vocabularies
for
which
they
knew
translation
 
 119
 equivalents.
It
was
predicted
that
infants
with
the
most
overlap
would
show
the
worst
performance,
and
that
this
would
be
limited
to
novel
label
trials
only,
and
thus
not
extend
to
familiar
label
trials.
A
median
split
was
performed,
based
on
the
proportion
of
overlap.
A
median
split
based
on
the
absolute
number
of
translation
equivalents
rather
than
the
proportion
yielded
the
same
groupings,
as
these
two
variables
were
highly
correlated
(r(14)=.92,
p<.001).
There
were
8
infants
who
had
less
than
50%
overlap
(M=34%
overlap),
and
8
who
had
50%
or
more
overlap
(M=58%
overlap).

 5.3.4.1 Familiar
label
trials.
On
familiar
label
trials,
there
was
no
significant
difference
between
high‐overlap
infants
and
low‐overlap
infants,
t(14)=.86,
p=.40,
d=.43,
two‐tailed.
Correlation
analysis
confirmed
an
absence
of
a
significant
relationship
between
performance
on
familiar
label
trials
and
either
the
percentage
of
translation
equivalents,
r(14)=.24,
p=.37,
or
the
number
of
translation
equivalents,
r(14)=.27,
p=.31.
 5.3.4.2 Novel
label
trials.
As
predicted,
for
novel
label
trials,
the
low‐overlap
group
showed
significantly
more
disambiguation
than
the
high‐overlap
group,
t(14)=3.52,
p=.003,
d=.18,
one‐tailed
(Figure
5.1).
Those
infants
whose
vocabularies
overlapped
the
least
showed
a
strong
tendency
to
increase
their
looking
to
the
novel
object
upon
hearing
the
novel
label,
M=.26,
SD=.18,
 t(7)=3.89,
p=.003,
d=1.44,
one‐tailed.
Seven
out
of
8
infants
in
this
group
showed
the
pattern
of
looking
longer
to
the
novel
object
compared
to
baseline.
The
infants
in
the
high‐overlap
group
showed
a
non‐significant
decrease
in
attention
to
the
novel
object,
M=‐.17,
 SD=.29,
t(7)=‐1.68,
p=.14,
d=.59,
two‐tailed.
Examined
individually,
no
consistent
pattern
was
shown
amongst
these
infants:
only
5
out
of
8
infants
showed
the
pattern
of
a
decrease
in
attention
to
the
novel
object.
A
correlation
analysis
showed
that
the
more
overlapping
 
 120
 infants’
comprehension
vocabularies
were,
the
less
infants
showed
disambiguation,
r(45)=‐.55,
p=.026.
A
similar
trend
was
seen
when
the
correlation
was
performed
with
the
absolute
number
of
translation
equivalents
rather
than
the
percentage
of
total
vocabulary,
r(14)=‐.41,
p=.11.
 Figure
5.1
Bilinguals’
average
performance
on
novel
label
trials,
and
as
a
function
of
overlap
group.

 
 5.3.5 Relationship
of
performance
to
other
language
variables.

 We
also
examined
whether
individual‐level
variables
other
than
English
vocabulary
size
and
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
(analyzed
above)
would
predict
infants’
performance
on
familiar
or
on
novel
label
trials.
Correlation
analyses
(see
values
in
Table
5.2)
showed
that
neither
the
number
of
English
words
understood,
the
number
of
Chinese
words
understood,
the
total
vocabulary,
nor
the
total
conceptual
vocabulary,
was
related
to
infants’
use
of
disambiguation
or
their
performance
on
familiar
label
trials.
Further,
there
 
 121
 was
no
relationship
between
performance
on
either
type
of
trial
and
how
much
English
infants
heard.
A
balance
score
was
calculated
as
50
minus
the
difference
in
exposure
between
the
infants’
two
languages
(e.g.
infants
with
perfectly
balanced
exposure
of
50/50
had
a
score
of
50‐50=0,
while
those
with
the
largest
imbalance
of
75/25
had
a
score
of
75‐25=50).
No
significant
correlation
was
found
between
infants’
balance
score
and
their
performance
on
familiar
or
on
novel
label
trials
(see
Table
5.2).
 Table
5.2
Correlations
between
language
measures
in
comprehension
vocabulary
and
performance
on
novel
label
and
familiar
label
trials.

 Familiar
label
trial
performance
 Novel
label
trial
performance
%
Translation
equivalents
 .24
 ‐.55*

#
Translation
equivalent
pairs
 .27
 ‐.41
English
comprehension
 .36
 ‐.17
Chinese
comprehension

 .11
 ‐.31
Total
comprehension
 .28
 ‐.40
Total
conceptual
comprehension
 .32
 ‐.21
%
English
exposure
 .33
 ‐.09
Balance
score
 .24
 ‐.12
*
p<.05
 5.4 Discussion

 The
current
study
investigated
whether
bilingual
infants’
ability
to
disambiguate
a
novel
noun
can
be
explained
by
the
structure
of
their
lexicons.
Seventeen
and
18‐month‐old
English‐Chinese
bilingual
infants
participated
in
a
looking‐time
eye
tracking
study.
In
a
preferential
looking
task,
control
trials
asked
infants
to
find
the
referent
of
a
known
noun
 
 122
 (e.g.
“Look
at
the
ball!”).
On
disambiguation
trials,
they
were
asked
to
find
the
referent
of
a
novel
noun
(e.g.
“Look
at
the
nil!”)
when
given
the
choice
between
a
novel
object
and
a
familiar
distracter.
As
a
group,
infants
showed
no
significant
tendency
to
disambiguate
the
novel
noun,
but
their
highly
variable
performance
facilitated
an
examination
of
whether
individual
differences
in
vocabulary
structure
or
vocabulary
size
predicted
their
performance.
We
tested
the
hypothesis
that
the
development
of
disambiguation
is
related
to
the
structure
of
the
developing
lexicon.
In
the
case
of
monolingual
infants,
as
they
learn
new
words,
infants
accrue
mounting
evidence
for
a
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
words
and
concepts.
However,
bilinguals
often
learn
translation
equivalents
(cross‐language
synonyms),
which
result
in
many‐to‐one
mappings
rather
than
a
one‐to‐one
mappings
between
word
and
concept.
Thus,
we
predicted
that
at
17‐18
months,
bilinguals
who
knew
many
translation
equivalents
(high
overlap
group)
would
not
use
disambiguation,
while
bilingual
infants
who
knew
relatively
few
translation
equivalents
(low
overlap
group)
would
show
disambiguation.
To
quantify
overlap,
we
measured
infants’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
in
their
receptive
vocabularies
as
a
percentage
of
the
total
number
of
words
they
understood.
Consistent
with
our
predictions,
those
bilingual
infants
whose
vocabularies
overlapped
little
(knew
translation
equivalents
for
less
than
50%
of
the
words
in
their
vocabularies)
successfully
disambiguated
the
novel
noun,
while
those
with
highly
overlapping
vocabularies
(knew
translation
equivalents
for
more
than
half
of
the
words
in
their
vocabularies)
failed
to
disambiguate
the
novel
noun.
Correlation
analyses
revealed
a
stronger
relationship
between
disambiguation
and
the
percentage
of
translation
equivalents,
than
between
disambiguation
and
the
absolute
number
of
translation
equivalents.
The
concurrent
correlation
between
the
absolute
and
the
percentage
of
 
 123
 translation
equivalents
that
infants
knew
makes
it
difficult
to
ascertain
whether
absolute
or
percentage
is
the
best
predictor.
In
either
case,
the
results
provide
strong
support
for
the
prediction
from
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis
of
a
negative
correlation
between
translation
equivalents
and
disambiguation.
Before
continuing
further,
it
is
important
to
rule
out
potential
alternate
explanations
for
these
results.
One
alternate
explanation
is
that
some
other
correlated
aspect
of
bilinguals’
vocabularies,
rather
than
their
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents,
explains
the
differences
in
infants’
performance
on
the
disambiguation
task.
However,
our
analyses
revealed
that
infants’
propensity
to
disambiguate
the
novel
noun
was
not
significantly
correlated
with
any
other
language
measure
including
amount
of
exposure
to
each
language,
relative
exposure
to
each
language
(balance),
total
vocabulary
size,
vocabulary
size
in
each
language,
and
measures
of
productive
vocabulary.

A
second
alternate
explanation
is
that
infants
who
know
many
translation
equivalents
did
not
disambiguate
the
novel
noun
because
of
more
generalized
difficulty
in
performing
a
preferential
looking
task.
This
seems
unlikely
because,
as
a
group,
infants
were
successful
at
looking
to
the
familiar
object
in
response
to
its
label.
Performance
on
familiar
label
trials
did
not
vary
as
a
function
of
the
proportion
of
translation
equivalents
infants
knew,
but
instead
was
most
closely
related
to
their
English
vocabulary
size.
Those
infants
who
knew
more
English
words
and
thus
were
likely
more
proficient
in
English
were
more
successful
in
the
familiar
label
task.
But
importantly,
English
vocabulary
size
did
not
predict
performance
on
novel
label
trials.

A
final
alternate
explanation
is
that
disambiguation
and
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
are
correlated
because
bilinguals
who
adhere
strongly
to
disambiguation
avoid
learning
translation
equivalents,
while
those
with
a
weak
disambiguation
bias
do
not.
Although
this
explanation
can
account
for
the
differences
seen
between
the
high‐overlap,
 
 124
 and
the
low‐overlap
groups
of
bilinguals,
it
does
not
account
for
the
overall
differences
seen
between
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
in
their
use
of
disambiguation.
Only
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis
gives
a
parsimonious
account
of
why
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
differ
in
their
development
of
disambiguation,
and
of
why
differences
are
seen
within
bilingual
infants
as
a
function
of
their
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents.
Having
considered
these
three
alternate
explanations,
we
conclude
that
the
current
data
are
most
consistent
with
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis.
 5.4.1 The
development
of
disambiguation.
The
basic
finding
of
this
study
replicates
previous
work
showing
that,
as
a
group,
bilinguals
in
the
middle
of
their
second
year
of
life
do
not
use
disambiguation
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010),
but
monolinguals
tested
at
the
same
age
can
successfully
disambiguate
novel
words
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009;
Halberda,
2003;
Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010).
However,
here
we
show
that
for
bilinguals,
failure
is
not
categorical.
Rather,
their
individual
success
or
failure
can
be
predicted
by
the
structure
of
their
lexicons.
Those
bilinguals
with
lexicons
closer
to
a
one‐to‐one
mapping
structure
did
show
disambiguation,
while
those
infants
who
know
many
translation
equivalents
and
thus
had
more
many‐to‐one
mappings
in
their
lexicons
did
not
use
disambiguation.
Bilinguals
are
therefore
not
a
homogeneous
group
when
it
comes
to
the
development
of
disambiguation,
and
this
finding
might
help
explain
previously
puzzling
results,
wherein
some
studies
have
found
marginal
evidence
of
bilinguals’
use
of
disambiguation
(Byers‐Heinlein
&
Werker,
2009),
while
other
similar
studies
have
failed
to
find
any
evidence
of
disambiguation
by
bilingual
infants
(Houston‐Price
et
al.,
2010).

The
current
study
also
speaks
more
broadly
to
the
development
of
word
learning
heuristics.
These
results
provide
a
unified
account
of
the
development
of
disambiguation
across
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants:
disambiguation
develops
in
infants
whose
 
 125
 lexicons
are
consistent
with
a
one‐to‐one
relationship
between
words
and
their
referents.
This
demonstrates
how
word
learning
heuristics
can
be
built
upon
early
vocabulary
learning,
and
at
the
same
time
explains
why
disambiguation
is
not
seen
in
infants
at
the
very
earliest
stages
of
word
learning.
Before
infants
have
learned
enough
words,
they
do
not
have
enough
evidence
of
the
one‐to‐one
relationship
between
words
and
their
referents
to
drive
the
development
of
disambiguation.
 5.4.2 Explaining
developmental
patterns
of
disambiguation
by
bilinguals.

 The
current
study
provides
evidence
that
a
one‐to‐one
organization
between
word
and
concept
is
necessary
to
develop
disambiguation.
Yet,
studies
of
translation
equivalents
in
bilinguals
have
suggested
that
as
they
grow
older,
bilinguals
tend
to
know
more
and
more
translation
equivalents
(De
Houwer
et
al.,
2006).
Based
on
these
observations,
it
is
reasonable
to
predict
that
bilinguals
would
never
develop
the
ability
to
disambiguate
novel
nouns.
Yet,
bilingual
preschoolers
do
use
disambiguation
and
related
word
learning
heuristics,
although
in
some
cases
less
consistently
than
same‐aged
monolinguals
do
(Davidson
et
al.,
1997;
Diesendruck,
2005;
Frank
&
Poulin‐Dubois,
2002;
Merriman
&
Kutlesic,
1993;
Merriman
&
Kutlesic,
1993).
The
mismatch
between
this
theoretical
prediction
and
the
empirical
findings
must
be
explained.

 5.4.2.1 Convergent
routes
to
disambiguation.
One
possible
explanation
for
bilinguals’
early
failure
at
disambiguation
and
later
success
is
that
early
and
late
disambiguation
represent
the
operation
of
different,
albeit
convergent,
mechanisms.
As
Halberda
(2003,
p.341)
has
pointed
out
in
relation
to
disambiguation,
“Certainly,
word‐learners
have
access
to
multiple
strategies…
it
is
possible
that
different
animals
and
different
word‐learners
may
rely
on
unique
processes
to
attain
the
same
goal.”
Consistent
with
this
idea
is
research
showing
that
children’s
disambiguation
 
 126
 ability
becomes
increasingly
sophisticated
with
development.
By
age
3
children
can
disambiguate
not
only
the
meaning
of
a
novel
noun,
but
also
the
meaning
of
a
novel
verb
(Golinkoff,
Jacquet,
Hirsh‐Pasek,
&
Nandakumar
,
1996).
Further,
preschool
children
are
able
to
pull
from
multiple
sources
of
information,
for
example
taking
into
account
information
about
the
class
of
a
word
(i.e.
count
nouns
versus
proper
nouns)
in
their
use
of
disambiguation
(Hall,
Quantz,
&
Persoage,
2000).
Preschoolers
are
also
able
to
consider
pragmatic
information,
such
as
a
speaker’s
knowledge
or
ignorance,
in
disambiguating
a
novel
noun
(Diesendruck
&
Markson,
2001;
Diesendruck,
2005;
Diesendruck,
Hall,
&
Graham,
2006).
We
suggest
that
while
early
disambiguation
develops
when
infants
have
a
lexicon
that
primarily
follows
a
one‐to‐one
mapping
structure
(which
is
inherent
to
the
monolingual
but
not
always
to
the
bilingual
lexicon)
preschoolers
might
have
access
to
one
or
more
additional
routes
to
disambiguation.
Early
disambiguation
might
be
largely
implicit,
but
preschoolers
could
use
explicit
reasoning
to
disambiguate
novel
words.
This
reasoning
might
be
socio‐pragmatic
in
nature
(e.g.
“If
she
had
wanted
the
shoe
she
would
have
said
shoe
but
she
didn’t
so
she
must
want
the
other
one”)
or
cognitive
in
nature
(e.g.
“This
one
already
has
an
English
name,
so
nil
must
mean
the
other
one”),
but
is
available
to
some
degree
to
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
children.
It
is
also
possible
that,
in
preschoolers,
disambiguation
can
be
achieved
either
through
the
earlier
or
the
later‐developing
route,
depending
on
the
demands
of
the
task
at
hand.
Speculations
about
the
exact
nature
of
this
later‐developing
mechanism
of
disambiguation,
whether
earlier
and
later‐developing
mechanisms
underlying
disambiguation
have
similar
underlying
computational
structures
(e.g.
disjunctive
syllogism;
Halberda,
2003,
2006),
and
when
each
mechanism
might
be
used
in
word
learning,
are
beyond
the
scope
of
this
paper,
but
will
prove
fruitful
questions
for
future
research.
 
 127
 5.4.2.2 Disambiguation
and
the
organization
of
the
bilingual
lexicon.

 Invoking
a
second
route
to
disambiguation
is
not
the
only
way
to
explain
the
bilingual
pattern
of
early
failure
to
disambiguate
novel
words
and
later
success,
given
increasing
knowledge
over
time
of
translation
equivalents.
Rather
than
a
change
in
the
mechanism
underlying
disambiguation,
it
may
be
that
there
are
changes
in
the
bilingual
lexicon
that
allow
the
same
mechanism
used
early
on
by
monolinguals
to
also
be
used
at
a
later
age
by
bilinguals.
Although
initially
a
many‐to‐one
mapping
structure
in
the
bilingual
lexicon
could
prevent
the
development
of
disambiguation,
later
changes
either
in
the
bilingual
lexicon
or
in
bilingual
children’s
metalinguistic
knowledge
might
help
them
to
better
recognize
that
generally
a
single
word
labels
each
concept
in
each
language.

Some
previous
research
with
older
bilinguals
has
investigated
whether
they
disambiguate
novel
words
in
a
way
that
is
consistent
with
concepts
having
a
label
in
each
language.
Appropriately,
preschool
and
school‐aged
bilinguals
do
tend
to
associate
a
novel
noun
with
a
novel
object
only
when
the
distracter
object
has
a
label
in
that
same
language
(within‐language
disambiguation),
but
not
when
two
labels
are
in
different
languages
(between‐language
disambiguation;
Au
&
Glusman,
1990).
It
may
be
the
case
that
it
is
only
when
bilinguals
have
a
more
sophisticated
lexical
structure,
or
only
when
they
have
reach
an
explicit
understanding
that
they
are
learning
two
languages,
that
they
are
able
to
reliably
use
disambiguation,
and
use
it
appropriately
(i.e.
within
a
language
but
not
between
languages).

 What
do
we
know
about
the
organization
of
the
early
bilingual
lexicon,
and
bilingual
children’s
recognition
of
their
two
languages
as
being
distinct?
Ironically,
much
of
the
evidence
that
has
been
put
forward
as
revealing
the
organization
of
the
early
bilingual
lexicon
has
assumed
that
word
learning
heuristics
such
as
disambiguation
are
available
to
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
from
the
same
point
in
development.
If
disambiguation
was
 
 128
 available
to
bilinguals
very
early
in
development,
examining
how
many
translation
equivalents
bilinguals
know
would
be
revealing
of
the
underlying
structure
of
their
lexicons.
A
number
of
researchers
have
argued
that
young
bilinguals
know
few
translation
equivalents.
This
has
been
taken
as
evidence
that
disambiguation
has
“prevented”
the
learning
of
these
cross‐language
synonyms,
revealing
a
lexicon
that
does
not
differentiate
between
the
bilinguals’
two
languages
(Clark,
1987,
1993;
Volterra
&
Taeschner,
1978).
Conversely,
other
researchers
have
reported
that
bilinguals
know
many
translation
equivalents
(Holowka,
Brosseau­Lapré,
&
Petitto,
2002;
Pearson
et
al.,
1995;
Yip
&
Matthews,
2007).
They
argue
that
bilinguals
must
therefore
have
separate
lexicons
for
each
language,
otherwise
heuristics
like
disambiguation
would
have
impeded
the
learning
of
these
translation
equivalents.
Both
of
these
arguments
about
the
nature
of
the
early
bilingual
lexicon
assume
that
disambiguation
influences
bilinguals’
learning
of
translation
equivalents.
But
the
current
paper
provides
evidence
that
causality
runs
in
the
other
direction:
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
influences
the
emergence
of
disambiguation.
Under
previous
reasoning,
studying
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
could
reveal
their
lexicon
structure.
We
instead
suggest
that
studying
bilingual
infants’
use
of
disambiguation
can
reveal
their
lexicon
structure,
and
their
growing
metalinguistic
knowledge
of
their
two
languages.
Specifically,
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
might
prevent
the
development
of
disambiguation
until
a
lexical
reorganization
occurs,
at
which
point
bilingual
infants’
lexicons
could
better
support
the
principle
that
each
object
tends
to
have
one
basic
level
label
in
each
language.
Similarly,
the
use
of
disambiguation
by
bilinguals
might
mark
a
transition
to
explicit
knowledge
on
the
part
of
the
children
that
they
are
acquiring
two
languages
(see
Genesee,
Nicoladis,
&
Paradis,
1995;
Genesee,
Boivin,
&
Nicoladis,
1996,
for
evidence
of
pragmatic
differentiation
of
their
two
languages
by
bilingual
 
 129
 toddlers).
At
this
point
children
might
begin
to
use
disambiguation
appropriately
within
a
language,
and
may
actively
seek
translation
equivalents
for
words
they
already
know.
Thus,
a
shift
from
an
absence
of
a
disambiguation
heuristic
to
the
presence
of
one
could
signal
a
shift
in
the
structure
of
the
bilingual
lexicon
to
one
that
can
better
separate
words
from
the
two
languages,
or
to
more
explicit
awareness
on
the
part
of
bilingual
children
that
they
are
acquiring
two
languages.
Studies
of
within‐language
and
between‐language
disambiguation
using
similar
procedures
for
younger
and
older
bilingual
children,
and
longitudinal
studies,
could
test
these
possibilities.
Such
studies
might
be
simultaneously
informative
about
word
learning
heuristics
as
well
as
the
structure
of
the
developing
bilingual
lexicon.
 5.5 Conclusions

 The
results
of
this
study
confirm
previous
findings
that
the
disambiguation
word
learning
heuristic
is
not
always
used
at
the
same
age
by
bilingual
infants
as
it
is
by
monolingual
infants.
Unlike
monolinguals
who
tend
to
know
a
single
label
for
each
referent
(one‐to‐one
mappings),
bilinguals
tend
to
know
translation
equivalents
(cross‐language
synonyms)
from
early
in
development,
which
represent
a
many‐to‐one
relationship
between
words
and
their
referents.
The
lexicon
structure
hypothesis
posits
that
disambiguation
develops
as
a
function
of
a
one‐to‐one
mapping
structure
of
the
lexicon.
We
directly
tested
this
hypothesis,
by
examining
whether
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
can
account
for
bilinguals’
overall
later
development
of
disambiguation
as
compared
to
monolinguals.
Our
results
showed
that,
in
general,
those
bilinguals
who
knew
relatively
few
translation
equivalents
disambiguated
a
novel
word,
while
those
who
knew
many
translation
equivalents
did
not.
Thus,
differences
both
between
monolinguals
and
bilinguals,
and
also
between
different
groups
of
bilinguals
can
be
explained
by
the
structure
of
the
developing
lexicon.
Whether
monolingual
or
bilingual,
only
those
infants
whose
 
 130
 lexicons
roughly
followed
a
one‐to‐one
mapping
structure
between
word
and
concept
had
developed
disambiguation
at
17‐18
months.

Paradoxically,
there
is
evidence
that
bilinguals
do
use
disambiguation
later
in
development,
even
though
their
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
grows
as
they
continue
to
learn
words.
In
this
paper,
we
raised
two
possible
explanations
for
this
developmental
pattern:
1)
the
development
of
a
second
mechanism
not
reliant
on
a
one‐to‐one
lexical
structure
that
allows
children
to
disambiguate
novel
words
and
2)
a
growing
understanding
on
the
part
of
bilinguals
that
each
object
has
a
label
in
each
language.
Future
studies
will
be
needed
to
test
each
of
these
possibilities.
The
current
research
direction
not
only
contributes
to
our
understanding
of
the
developmental
origins
of
disambiguation,
but
more
generally
illuminates
word
learning
and
lexical
development
across
infants
from
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
backgrounds.
 
 131
 5.6 References
 Au,
T.
K.,
&
Glusman,
M.
(1990).
The
principle
of
mutual
exclusivity
in
word
learning:
To
honor
or
not
to
honor?
Child
Development,
61(5),
1474‐1490.
doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2005.03.007
 Bosch,
L.,
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
N.
(1997).
Native‐language
recognition
abilities
in
4‐month‐old
infants
from
monolingual
and
bilingual
environments.
Cognition,
65(1),
33‐69.
doi:10.1016/S0010‐0277(97)00040‐1
 Byers‐Heinlein,
K.,
&
Werker,
J.
F.
(2009).
Monolingual,
bilingual,
trilingual:

infants’
language
experience
influences
the
development
of
a
word
learning
heuristic.
 Developmental
Science,
12(5),
815‐823.
doi:10.1111/j.1467‐7687.2009.00902.x
 Clark,
E.
V.
(1987).
The
principle
of
contrast:
A
constraint
on
language
acquisition.
In
B.
MacWhinney
(Ed.),
Mechanisms
of
language
acquisition
(pp.
1‐33).
Hillsdale,
NJ,
USA:
Lawrence
Erlbaum
Associates,
Inc.
 Clark,
E.
V.
(1990).
On
the
pragmatics
of
contrast.
Journal
of
Child
Language,
17(2),
417‐431.
10.1017/S0305000900013842
 Clark,
E.
V.
(1993).
The
lexicon
in
acquisition.
New
York,
NY
US:
Cambridge
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 139
 6 Conclusions
To
learn
their
native
language,
infants
use
a
broad
set
of
tools,
which
flexibly
provide
the
support
to
acquire
any
of
the
world’s
languages.
This
thesis
focused
on
the
fascinating
case
of
infants
acquiring
two
languages
simultaneously
from
birth.
Four
sets
of
studies
were
undertaken
that
compared
infants
growing
up
monolingual
to
infants
growing
up
bilingual,
to
better
understand
how
the
tools
of
language
acquisition
develop
and
are
used
across
very
different
early
language
contexts.
In
this
section,
I
will
first
address
the
immediate
implications
of
each
set
of
studies,
and
closely‐tied
directions
of
future
research.
I
will
then
discuss
the
limitations
of
this
line
of
inquiry.
Finally,
I
will
turn
to
the
broader
issues
raised
by
this
thesis,
addressing
directions
that
future
research
with
bilinguals
might
take
in
helping
to
illuminate
language
acquisition
across
all
infants.
 6.1 Summary
of
results
and
implications

 The
studies
presented
in
Chapter
2
build
upon
research
showing
precocious
speech
perception
abilities
in
newborn
infants.
It
has
previously
been
demonstrated
that
infants
not
only
have
a
preference
for
speech
sounds
over
non‐speech
sounds
from
birth
(Vouloumanos
&
Werker,
2007),
but
also
show
a
further
fine‐grained
preference
for
the
native
language
over
an
unfamiliar
language
(Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Moon,
Cooper,
&
Fifer,
1993).
Chapter
2
probed
the
boundaries
of
infants’
native
language
perception
by
comparing
newborn
infants
exposed
to
two
languages
prenatally
(bilinguals)
to
infants
exposed
to
a
single
language
prenatally
(monolinguals).
Results
from
monolingual
infants
replicated
previous
findings
that
newborn
monolinguals
have
learned
about
their
native
language
prenatally.
Results
from
bilingual
infants
provided
compelling
evidence
that
it
is
equally
feasible
for
infants
to
learn
about
two
native
languages
prenatally
as
it
is
for
them
to
learn
about
one.

 
 140
 Past
studies
have
shown
that,
as
early
as
4‐months‐of‐age,
both
bilingual
and
monolingual
infants
demonstrate
patterns
of
behavior
that
reflect
the
specific
nature
of
their
language
environments
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2001).
The
results
presented
in
Chapter
2
indicate
that
monolingual
and
bilingual
development
diverge
even
earlier,
from
birth
in
the
case
of
infants
who
have
had
either
monolingual
or
bilingual
prenatal
experience.
However,
it
is
not
the
case
that
prenatal
bilingual
experience
is
confusing
to
infants.
Rather,
this
set
of
studies
shows
that
bilingual
newborns
are
well‐prepared
for
the
challenges
of
bilingual
acquisition.
They
demonstrate
interest
in
both
of
their
native
languages,
and
direct
attention
preferentially
to
these
languages.
Further,
results
presented
in
this
thesis
show
that,
at
least
when
the
languages
are
from
different
rhythmic
classes,
bilinguals
maintain
an
ability
to
discriminate
their
two
native
languages,
which
can
support
bilingual
infants
as
they
build
two
language
systems.
Thus,
early‐appearing
sensitivity
to
languages
that
differ
rhythmically
are
not
overwritten
by
bilingual
experience,
but
rather
infants
from
different
language
backgrounds
share
a
robust
perceptual
capacity
for
language
discrimination
and
early
learning
about
the
properties
of
the
native
language
or
languages.
The
results
presented
in
Chapter
2
raise
important
questions
about
how
newborn
infants
perceive
and
process
speech.
Theories
of
sentence
perception
by
newborns
have
focused
on
their
sensitivity
to
rhythmical
information.
It
has
been
proposed
that
newborns
do
not
readily
perceive
differences
between
languages
within
the
same
rhythmical
class
(Mehler
et
al.,
1988;
Mehler,
Dupoux,
Nazzi,
&
Dehaene‐Lambertz,
1996;
Nazzi,
Bertoncini,
&
Mehler,
1998;
Ramus,
Hauser,
Miller,
Morris,
&
Mehler,
2000).
Studies
presented
in
Chapter
2
show
that
bilingual
newborns
learning
languages
from
the
same
pair
of
rhythmical
classes
–
English‐Tagalog
bilinguals
and
English‐Chinese
bilinguals
–
have
 
 141
 different
patterns
of
preference
for
English
versus
Tagalog.
This
difference
in
perception
is
not
predicted
by
current
theories
of
language
discrimination
in
newborns.
There
are
several
different
ways
that
this
apparent
within‐rhythmic
class
sensitivity
might
be
explained.
First,
it
could
be
that
in
general,
newborn
infants
are
more
sensitive
to
within‐class
rhythmic
distinctions
than
previously
thought.
Tagalog
and
Chinese
are
not
rhythmically
identical,
and
newborns
might
pick
up
on
this
difference.
A
second
possibility
is
that
newborn
infants
are
sensitive
to
non‐rhythmic
differences
between
languages,
differences
which
have
not
previously
been
manipulated
in
experimental
studies.
In
the
case
of
the
experimental
languages
investigated
in
Chapter
2,
Chinese
has
lexical
tone
and
Tagalog
does
not.
It
is
an
open
question
as
to
how
newborn
infants
perceive
lexical
tone,
and
whether
they
are
able
to
discriminate
between
tone
languages
and
non‐tone
languages.
A
final
possibility
is
that
sensitivity
to
differences
between
languages
is
enhanced
in
bilingual
infants
because
of
their
very
early
experience
with
multiple
languages.
Exploring
each
of
these
possibilities
might
ultimately
uncover
a
variety
of
tools
that
bilingual
infants
can
use
to
acquire
different
language
pairs.
After
speech
perception
capacities
are
honed
during
the
first
year
of
life,
infants
move
towards
the
important
task
of
building
their
vocabularies.
Chapter
3
investigated
the
development
of
an
important
and
powerful
word
learning
tool:
the
ability
to
form
an
associative
link
between
a
word
and
an
object,
and
whether
infants’
use
of
this
tool
differs
across
monolinguals
and
bilinguals.
The
studies
in
this
chapter
used
a
tightly‐controlled
laboratory
method
called
the
Switch
task
to
test
infants’
association
of
two
dissimilar‐sounding
words
(lif
and
neem)
with
two
perceptually
different
objects.
These
studies
indicate
that
both
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
fail
to
form
an
association
at
12‐months‐of‐age,
but
succeed
at
14‐months‐of‐age.
This
identical
developmental
trajectory
helps
to
explain
why
lexical
development
in
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
is
highly
 
 142
 similar
(Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1993;
Pearson,
Fernández,
Lewedeg,
&
Oller,
1997;
Umbel,
Pearson,
Fernández,
&
Oller,
1992).
Necessary,
although
perhaps
not
sufficient
for
word
learning,
these
studies
suggest
that
the
fundamental
ability
to
link
word
and
object
develops
on
the
same
schedule
across
infants
from
very
different
language
backgrounds.
These
findings
provide
an
important
context
for
interpreting
previous
experimental
results
showing
that,
under
some
circumstances,
bilinguals
are
later
than
monolinguals
in
developing
the
ability
to
learn
minimal‐pair
words
(e.g.
bih
and
dih)
in
the
Switch
task
(Fennell,
Byers‐Heinlein,
&
Werker,
2007;
Mattock,
Polka,
Rvachew,
&
Krehm,
2010).
Given
the
results
presented
in
Chapter
3,
it
is
possible
to
conclude
that
this
difference
originates
in
bilinguals’
ability
to
encode
and
access
phonetic
detail
as
they
learn
new
words,
rather
than
a
more
generalized
difficulty
in
forming
word‐object
associations.

Ongoing
work
in
the
area
of
minimal
pair
word
learning
also
provides
impetus
for
future
studies
of
bilinguals’
learning
of
dissimilar‐sounding
words.
Several
studies
have
shown
that
providing
sentential
context
and
referential
cues
can
boost
monolingual
infants’
learning
of
minimal‐pair
words
(Fennell
&
Waxman,
in
press).
Evidence
is
emerging
that
bilinguals
might
be
particularly
aided
by
sentential
context
in
minimal‐pair
word
learning
tasks
(Fennell
&
Byers‐Heinlein,
2009).
This
could
be
because
of
the
additional
challenges
that
bilinguals
must
overcome
in
naturalistic
word
learning
situations.
While
monolinguals
can
assume
that
new
words
they
encounter
belong
to
their
native
language
(see
Bijeljac‐Babic,
Nassurally,
Havy,
&
Nazzi,
2009,
for
evidence
that
monolinguals
can
rapidly
learn
words
in
a
foreign
language),
bilinguals
might
first
attempt
to
ascertain
which
of
their
two
languages
is
being
spoken
before
learning
a
new
word.
Thus,
sentential
context
might
prove
to
be
a
tool
that
boosts
word
learning
performance
both
for
minimal‐pair
words
and
for
dissimilar‐sounding
words.
Future
studies
comparing
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
on
 
 143
 associative
word
learning
could
investigate
how
infants
take
advantage
of
the
specific
word
learning
context,
and
in
particular
sentential
context,
to
form
word‐object
associations.
Forming
an
association
between
a
word
and
an
object,
as
tested
in
Chapter
3,
is
necessary
across
many
types
of
word
learning
situations.
Other
tools
that
infants
use
to
learn
new
words
are
more
specific
to
particular
circumstances.
Word
learning
heuristics
are
thought
to
be
a
type
of
tool
that
children
use
when
the
reference
of
a
novel
word
is
ambiguous.
Chapter
4
probed
the
development
of
one
such
heuristic,
the
disambiguation
of
a
novel
noun
by
associating
it
with
a
novel
rather
than
with
a
familiar
object.
The
study
asked
whether
disambiguation
emerges
as
a
result
of
maturation
and/or
general
language
experience,
or
instead
through
experience
with
a
particular
type
of
language
input.
To
this
end,
age‐matched
monolingual,
bilingual,
and
trilingual
infants
were
tested
in
the
same
disambiguation
task.
Results
showed
that
infants’
use
of
disambiguation
varied
as
a
function
of
language
experience:
the
more
languages
being
learned
by
the
infant,
the
less
evidence
there
was
for
the
infant
having
developed
disambiguation.
This
provides
compelling
evidence
that
the
particular
type
of
early
language
environment
is
important
with
respect
to
the
developmental
time
course
of
disambiguation.
Chapter
4
raised
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis,
positing
that
infants
develop
disambiguation
as
they
gain
mounting
evidence
in
their
lexicons
for
a
one‐to‐one
relationship
between
words
and
their
referents.
Under
this
hypothesis,
bilingual
and
trilinguals
are
less
likely
to
show
disambiguation
than
are
monolinguals,
as
they
typically
encounter
multiple
labels
for
the
same
thing
(one
in
each
of
their
languages).
Chapter
5
provided
a
direct
test
for
this
hypothesis,
by
relating
bilinguals’
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
(cross‐language
synonyms)
to
their
use
of
disambiguation.
Strong
evidence
supporting
the
lexicon
structure
hypothesis
was
found:
those
bilinguals
who
knew
few
translation
equivalents
showed
disambiguation,
while
those
who
knew
many
translation
 
 144
 equivalents
did
not.
Thus,
Chapter
5
pinpointed
the
aspect
of
bilingual
experience
that
causes
differences
in
the
development
of
disambiguation
relative
to
monolingual
infants.
Chapters
4
and
5
together
provide
a
parsimonious
explanation
for
how
disambiguation
develops
across
infants
from
different
language
backgrounds.
Given
the
finding
that
disambiguation
is
not
available
to
bilinguals
at
the
same
age
as
it
is
available
to
monolinguals,
one
might
wonder
how
bilingual
infants
cope
without
this
tool
for
word
learning.
Certainly,
it
is
not
the
case
that
bilingual
infants
are
impaired
in
lexical
acquisition,
as
age‐matched
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
know
similar
numbers
of
words,
and
have
lexicalized
a
similar
number
of
concepts
(Pearson
et
al.,
1993;
Pearson
et
al.,
1997;
Umbel
et
al.,
1992).
One
possibility
is
that
situations
in
which
disambiguation
would
be
useful
are
not
frequent
in
real
word
learning
contexts.
Perhaps
disambiguation
does
not
provide
necessary
or
additional
information
about
the
referent
of
a
novel
word
very
often
even
for
monolingual
children.
Indeed,
there
are
many
rich
cues
to
reference
in
the
language
learning
environment,
from
social
cues
given
by
the
interlocutor,
to
patterns
of
co‐occurrence
across
time
between
word
and
object.
It
may
be
that
disambiguation
is
a
simply
a
byproduct
of
the
organization
of
the
word
learning
system,
as
opposed
to
an
important
source
of
referential
information
for
young
word
learners.
Alternately,
it
could
be
that
bilingual
children
have
advanced
word
learning
and
cognitive
abilities
that
allow
them
to
overcome
the
unavailability
of
the
disambiguation
word
learning
heuristic.
For
example,
there
is
evidence
that
bilingual
children
are
precocious
in
their
theory
of
mind
development
(Goetz,
2003;
Kovács,
2009).
Enhanced
theory
of
mind
might
give
bilinguals
better
access
to
a
speaker’s
intentions,
in
turn
providing
information
about
the
intended
referent
of
a
novel
word.
There
is
also
work
showing
that,
as
early
as
7
months‐of‐age,
bilingual
children
show
some
cognitive
advantages.
These
include
an
enhanced
ability
in
bilinguals
to
inhibit
a
previously
learned
 
 145
 regularity
(Kovács
&
Mehler,
2009a).
This
could
prove
useful
when
infants
posit
an
initially
incorrect
mapping
between
word
and
referent,
which
must
later
be
corrected.
There
is
other
evidence
that
12‐month‐old
bilinguals
are
more
able
than
monolingual
infants
to
track
multiple
regularities
simultaneously
(Kovács
&
Mehler,
2009b).
This
could
be
of
benefit
when
multiple
novel
words
are
encountered
in
fast
succession.
Bilinguals
might
show
better
facility
than
monolinguals
in
tracking
the
meanings
of
multiple
words
simultaneously.
Such
a
possibility
could
be
tested
by
comparing
monolinguals’
and
bilinguals’
ability
to
monitor
cross‐situational
statistics
of
co‐occurrence
between
words
and
objects
(e.g.
Smith
&
Yu,
2008;
Vouloumanos
&
Werker,
2009).
The
current
studies
on
bilinguals’
early
use
of
disambiguation
can
also
be
considered
in
light
of
the
broader
mutual
exclusivity
framework.
Mutual
exclusivity
proposes
that
children
assume
that
each
object
has
only
one
basic
level
label
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988).
As
a
consequence,
when
confronted
with
a
label
in
the
context
of
an
object
with
a
known
name,
children
will
show
a
variety
of
behaviors
to
avoid
mapping
the
same
object
with
two
basic‐level
labels,
of
which
disambiguation
is
but
one
such
behavior.
Other
behaviors
include
associating
the
new
label
with
a
part
of
the
name‐known
object
(Markman
&
Wachtel,
1988),
and,
particularly
when
given
consistent
syntactic
cues,
inferring
that
the
novel
word
refers
to
a
material‐kind
property
of
the
object
(Hall,
Waxman,
&
Hurwitz,
1993)
or
that
it
is
a
proper
name
for
that
object
(Hall,
1991).
Bilingual
preschoolers
have
shown
evidence
of
inferring
that
a
novel
label
refers
to
an
object
part
rather
than
the
entirety
of
a
name‐known
object,
although
their
tendency
appears
weaker
than
that
of
monolinguals
(Davidson
&
Tell,
2005).

Given
the
current
finding
that
greater
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
predicts
less
use
of
disambiguation
amongst
bilinguals,
it
would
be
interesting
to
investigate
whether
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents
also
predicts
these
other
mutual
exclusivity
 
 146
 behaviors.
Such
a
finding
would
support
the
mutual
exclusivity
framework,
and
could
broaden
the
current
claims
about
the
role
of
the
lexicon
structure
in
the
development
of
multiple
word
learning
heuristics
related
to
mutual
exclusivity.
Conversely
an
absence
of
a
relationship
between
translation
equivalents
and
other
mutual
exclusivity‐related
behaviors
would
suggest
that
the
principle
of
mutual
exclusivity
does
not
underlie
early
use
of
the
disambiguation
word
learning
heuristic.
 6.2 Limitations
Infants
growing
up
bilingual
are
a
fascinating
population
for
study,
and
in
comparing
their
development
to
infants
growing
up
monolingual,
we
gain
a
unique
window
into
language
acquisition.
However,
any
results
from
studies
comparing
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants
must
be
interpreted
carefully
and
in
light
of
the
different
natures
of
these
two
populations.
It
is
important
to
remember
that
bilingualism
is
not
a
randomly‐assigned
variable,
but
rather
arises
due
to
parental
circumstance
and
choice.
For
example,
immigrant
parents
are
often
bilingual,
and
thus
have
the
opportunity
to
pass
two
languages
to
their
children
if
they
so
choose.
Bilingualism
is
thus
often
correlated
with
a
multitude
of
other
variables.
In
Vancouver,
where
the
current
studies
were
conducted,
bilingual
populations
are
extremely
ethnically
and
culturally
diverse.
In
contrast,
the
monolingual
English‐speaking
population
is
typically
Canadian‐born,
and
tends
to
share
traditional
Canadian
values
and
culture.
Thus,
there
are
likely
a
host
of
differences
between
the
two
groups,
not
only
the
languages
spoken
at
home,
but
also
in
terms
of
parenting,
nutrition,
family
organization,
and
many
other
variables.
It
is
important
to
consider
whether
any
of
these
third
variables
is
more
likely
to
account
for
the
patterns
of
results
reported,
rather
than
the
variable
of
interest
which
is
monolingual
versus
bilingual
experience.
The
concerns
about
third‐variable
explanations
can
be
partially
assuaged.
Most
participating
infants,
whether
monolingual
or
bilingual,
came
from
middle
to
upper‐middle
 
 147
 class
families,
which
share
many
common
values
and
practices
regardless
of
cultural
background.
Parents
were
typically
highly
motivated
to
provide
a
rich
environment
for
their
infants’
development,
which
is
central
to
ensuring
successful
language
acquisition.
Also,
results
of
the
studies
in
this
thesis
suggested
that
there
were
not
generalized
differences
in
language
acquisition
between
monolinguals
and
bilinguals,
but
rather
differences
were
limited
to
certain
tasks.
For
example,
Chapter
3
showed
that
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
have
an
identical
developmental
trajectory
in
terms
of
associative
word
learning.
This
supports
the
position
that
there
is
no
general
language
advantage
or
delay
for
either
group.
Similarly,
in
Chapters
4
and
5,
infants
were
tested
both
on
their
ability
to
recognize
familiar
words,
and
their
ability
disambiguate
a
novel
word.
Monolinguals
and
bilinguals
differed
only
in
disambiguation
and
not
in
familiar
word
recognition,
a
finding
that
is
best
explained
by
infants’
language
experience
(monolingual
versus
bilingual)
specifically
affecting
disambiguation,
rather
than
some
third
variable
that
would
likely
affect
infants’
performance
on
both
tasks.
Not
only
is
the
context
of
acquisition
different
between
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants,
but
there
is
also
considerable
heterogeneity
within
the
larger
group
of
infants
considered
bilingual.
In
some
cases
(Chapters
3
and
4),
the
bilinguals
tested
were
heterogeneous
with
respect
to
the
particular
language
pair
they
were
acquiring.
It
is
conceivable
that
word
learning
is
differentially
challenging
in
the
context
of
particular
language
pairs
(although
see
Fennell
et
al.,
2007,
for
a
study
of
word
learning
in
which
similar
results
were
replicated
across
three
groups
of
bilingual
infants).
It
is
also
the
case
that
infants’
relative
proficiency
in
each
language
varied.
Bilingual
infants
heard
each
language
between
25%
and
75%
of
the
time,
but
some
infants
had
very
balanced
exposure
(e.g.
50/50)
while
for
others
exposure
was
unbalanced.
Further,
infants
heard
each
of
their
languages
across
different
contexts.
For
example,
some
infants
were
growing
up
in
a
one‐ 
 148
 parent‐one‐language
situation,
while
for
others
both
parents
were
bilingual.
The
current
studies
cannot
fully
address
these
within‐group
differences,
as
sample
sizes
did
not
typically
permit
the
subdivision
of
the
bilingual
group
to
look
at
more
fine‐grained
differences
amongst
these
infants.
However,
Chapter
5
did
examine
whether
individual
differences
amongst
bilingual
infants
(i.e.
their
knowledge
of
translation
equivalents)
could
account
for
their
disambiguation
behavior.
Future
studies
could
use
a
similar
approach.
 6.3 Future
directions
The
studies
presented
in
this
thesis
represent
only
the
tip
of
the
iceberg
of
comparisons
between
monolinguals
and
bilinguals
that
could
provide
important
insights
into
language
acquisition.
Building
from
previous
work,
these
studies
ask
how
the
same
tools
important
for
monolingual
acquisition
develop
in
bilingual
environments.
There
is
certainly
enormous
room
for
future
studies
in
the
same
vein.
Novel
insights
might
also
be
found
by
motivating
studies
in
light
of
the
particular
acquisition
tasks
that
are
faced
by
bilingual
infants,
and
the
tools
that
will
thus
be
necessary
for
successful
acquisition
in
bilingual
contexts.
For
example,
unique
to
bilinguals
is
the
task
of
ascertaining
which,
if
either,
of
their
two
languages
is
being
spoken
in
a
given
situation,
whereas
monolingual
infants
need
only
determine
whether
their
own
familiar
language
or
a
foreign
language
is
being
heard.
Future
studies
might
examine
how
this
affects
infants’
approach
to
language
tasks.
There
are
also
unique
characteristics
of
bilingual
language
environments
that
could
provide
fruitful
avenues
of
inquiry.
Typically,
experimental
studies
of
bilingual
acquisition
quantify
the
amount
of
exposure
to
each
language,
but
have
less
often
investigated
the
qualitative
aspects
of
their
exposure.
For
example,
some
bilingual
infants
hear
sentences
that
are
mixed
with
respect
to
their
two
languages,
as
in
code
switching
and
borrowing
(see
Byers‐Heinlein,
2009,
for
a
preliminary
investigation
of
this
topic).
Experience
with
mixed
 
 149
 language
could
affect
acquisition
strategies.
Further,
the
studies
that
comprise
this
thesis
(as
well
as
other
previous
work
with
bilinguals)
have
presented
stimuli
in
a
single
language.
However,
it
would
also
be
of
theoretical
interest
to
investigate
tools
that
bilingual
infants
use
to
cope
with
mixed
language
in
experimental
paradigms.
Such
work
would
provide
further
insight
into
how
tools
important
for
navigating
a
bilingual
versus
a
monolingual
environment
might
diverge
across
development.
An
important
future
direction
for
studies
of
infant
bilingualism
is
research
that
better
addresses
the
question
of
how
bilinguals
discriminate,
separate,
and
ultimately
represent
their
two
languages.
The
beginnings
of
these
questions
were
addressed
in
this
thesis.
Chapter
2
demonstrated
that,
at
a
perceptual
level,
newborn
bilinguals
are
able
to
discriminate
the
two
languages
in
their
environment,
and
this
discrimination
ability
persists
at
least
several
months
into
development
(Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
1997;
Bosch
&
Sebastián‐Gallés,
2001;
Weikum
et
al.,
2007).
To
fully
understand
bilingual
development,
it
is
important
to
know
how
and
when
infants
go
beyond
discrimination
to
true
separation
and
the
setting‐up
of
two
different
language
systems.
As
suggested
in
Chapter
5,
studies
of
the
developmental
trajectory
of
disambiguation
could
help
to
reveal
how
bilingual
infants
organize
the
words
of
each
of
their
languages.
Studies
are
needed
to
examine
language
separation
across
a
variety
of
language
systems,
including
at
the
phonetic,
lexical,
and
syntactic
levels.
 6.4 Concluding
statement

 Bilingual
and
monolingual
infants
have
the
same
ultimate
goal:
that
of
learning
their
native
language
or
languages.
Regardless
of
language
background,
infants
must
use
those
tools
that
are
available
as
best
they
can,
and
develop
other
tools
that
are
useful
in
the
context
of
their
language
learning
environments.
This
thesis
has
demonstrated
how
some
tools
develop
and
are
used
robustly
across
monolingual
and
bilingual
environments.
These
 
 150
 include
early
attention
to
the
native
language
or
languages,
the
discrimination
of
rhythmically
different
languages,
and
the
ability
to
form
an
associative
connection
between
a
word
and
an
object.
However,
other
tools
build
upon
specific
types
of
language
experience,
resulting
in
different
developmental
patterns
across
monolingual
and
bilingual
infants.
In
particular,
the
ability
to
disambiguate
a
novel
word
develops
when
infants’
lexicons
support
a
notion
of
one‐to‐one
mapping
between
word
and
referent,
and
thus
does
not
emerge
on
the
same
schedule
in
bilingual
infants
who
know
many
translation
equivalents.
It
might
thus
be
necessary
for
bilinguals
to
rely
more
heavily
on
other
tools
to
achieve
the
same
progress
in
lexical
development
as
their
monolingual
peers.
Together,
the
studies
presented
in
this
thesis
provide
a
fascinating
window
on
how
infants
cope
with
diverse
early
language
environments.
 
 151
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 155
 Appendix
1
 
 
 156
 Appendix
2
 
 
 157
 Appendix
3

 Language
background
information
for
multilingual
participants
in
Chapter
3,
Study
1.
Participant
 Background
 Lang.
A
 %A
 Lang.
B
 %B
 Lang.
C
 %C
1
 Bilingual
 English
 34
 Croatian

 66
 ‐
 ‐
2
 Bilingual
 English
 48
 Hebrew

 52
 ‐
 ‐
3
 Bilingual
 English
 61
 French

 39
 ‐
 ‐
4
 Bilingual
 English
 60
 Czech

 40
 ‐
 ‐
5
 Bilingual
 English
 42
 Japanese

 58
 ‐
 ‐
6
 Bilingual
 English
 52
 French

 48
 ‐
 ‐
7
 Bilingual
 English
 27
 Portuguese

 73
 ‐
 ‐
8
 Bilingual
 English
 38
 Kachi

 62
 ‐
 ‐
9
 Bilingual
 English
 60
 Vietnamese
 40
 ‐
 ‐
10
 Bilingual
 English
 53
 Spanish

 47
 ‐
 ‐
11
 Bilingual
 English
 71
 Kachi

 29
 ‐
 ‐
12
 Bilingual
 English
 38
 Spanish

 62
 ‐
 ‐
13
 Bilingual
 English
 54
 Japanese

 46
 ‐
 ‐
14
 Bilingual
 English
 54
 German

 46
 ‐
 ‐
15
 Bilingual
 English
 51
 Punjabi

 49
 ‐
 ‐
16
 Bilingual
 English
 29
 French

 71
 ‐
 ‐
17
 Trilingual
 English
 23
 Japanese

 45
 French

 32
18
 Trilingual
 English
 30
 Mandarin

 50
 Cantonese

 20
19
 Trilingual
 English
 21
 Japanese

 39
 Italian

 40
20
21
 Trilingual
Trilingual
 English
English
 51
55
 Tagalog

Hokkien

 30
24
 Ilocano

Mandarin

 19
21
22
 Trilingual
 English
 25
 Spanish

 55
 Hungarian

 20
23
 Trilingual
 English
 43
 Vietnamese
 34
 Cantonese

 23
24
 Trilingual
 English
 49
 Cantonese

 29
 Vietnamese
 22
25
 Trilingual
 English
 47
 Cantonese

 33
 Mandarin

 20
26
 Trilingual
 English
 48
 Punjabi

 34
 Tagalog

 21
27
 Trilingual
 English
 32
 Cantonese

 37
 French

 31
28
 Trilingual
 English
 20
 Cantonese

 50
 Korean

 30
29
 Trilingual
 English
 19
 Dutch

 52
 Arabic

 29
30
 Trilingual
 English
 45
 Tagalog

 28
 Ilocano

 27
31
 Trilingual
 English
 35
 Hebrew

 32
 Polish

 33
32
 Trilingual
 English
 44
 Spanish

 37
 German

 19
 

 
 158
 Appendix
4
 


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