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Title: How learning new words changes lexical networks during developmental language acquisition
Author: Leung, D. H. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 8613
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The thesis uses connectionist ideas as a basis for understanding lexical processing, in particular how usage factors have an effect on lexical production in early development. The usage factors of word frequency, neighbourhood density and age-of-acquisition are considered and manipulated in word and non-word repetition tasks with children aged 2 to 12 years. First-order neighbourhood density refers to adjacent neighbours of a target word and second-order neighbourhood density refers to neighbours of first-order neighbours. First- and second-order neighbourhood changes over age were calculated. Experiments were conducted to see how these and the other usage factors interact. A particular focus was whether a phone string is processed differently depending on whether it is a word a child knows or is effectively a non-word (i.e. a word not acquired until a later age). A Generative Acquisition Hypothesis Processing Shift Model is proposed explaining how a string of phones that is a non-word (not known by a child of this age) is processed differently to when it is acquired and how this leads to different interactions between usage factors on lexical processing. The thesis then extends this model by investigating usage factors in Cantonese-English bilinguals as well as Cantonese monolinguals. The results provide a better understanding about how the lexicon develops over ages and how the links between words changes (using the neighbourhood density statistics) within children of different ages and between two languages in bilingual children.
Supervisor: Howell, P. ; Donlan, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available