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Wagner, Katie; Chu, Junyi; Barner, David – Developmental Science, 2019
How do children acquire exact meanings for number words like three or forty-seven? In recent years, a lively debate has probed the cognitive systems that support learning, with some arguing that an evolutionarily ancient "approximate number system" drives early number word meanings, and others arguing that learning is supported chiefly…
Descriptors: Numbers, Number Concepts, Children, Semantics
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Tillman, Katharine A.; Tulagan, Nestor; Fukuda, Eren; Barner, David – Developmental Science, 2018
When reasoning about time, English-speaking adults often invoke a "mental timeline" stretching from left to right. Although the direction of the timeline varies across cultures, the tendency to represent time as a line has been argued to be ubiquitous and primitive. On this hypothesis, we might predict that children also spontaneously…
Descriptors: Spatial Ability, Cognitive Processes, Time, Schemata (Cognition)
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Sullivan, Jessica; Barner, David – Developmental Science, 2016
When children acquire language, they often learn words in the absence of direct instruction (e.g. "This is a ball!") or even social cues to reference (e.g. eye gaze, pointing). However, there are few accounts of how children do this, especially in cases where the referent of a new word is ambiguous. Across two experiments, we test…
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Language Acquisition, Inferences, Language Usage