Linguistic cues are privileged over non-linguistic cues in young children’s categorization (2022)

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Cognitive Development

Volume 48,

October–December 2018

, Pages 167-175

Abstract

Language affects the way that humans build categories. When two objects share a verbal label, children and adults are encouraged to group them together. In the present study, we offer a stringent test of the potency of labels by comparing them to non-linguistic cues that have been matched in terms of critical properties. In Experiment 1, Four-year-old children were given two categorization tasks with novel natural kinds and artifacts. In both tasks, we compared the effectiveness of novel Labels like zeg and equally discriminable, intentionally introduced patterned Frames. In Experiment 2, we included pretest trials before each of the tasks to ensure children’s awareness of the cues. We observed a pervasive advantage of Labels over Frames in both experiments. Our results offer some of the strongest evidence to date for the conclusion that young children prioritize labels over superficially equipotent non-linguistic cues when drawing category boundaries.

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Section snippets

Experiment 1

Experiment 1 investigated children’s spontaneous use of linguistic and non-linguistic cues in forming novel artifact and natural kind categories.

Experiment 2

The results of Experiment 1 suggest that, by age four, children already understand that labels serve as category markers but arbitrary non-linguistic cues (patterned frames) do not. One possible concern is that, despite our efforts, frames may have appeared less intentional than the labels in our paradigm (for instance, they could have been interpreted as having no particular meaning for the experimenter). As a result, children may not have paid attention to frames, noticed that frames varied,

General discussion

In the present study, we set out to assess the role of language in young children’s category formation. Previous studies suggested that infants make use of linguistic cues to a greater extent than non-linguistic cues when forming novel categories but the properties of the two types of cues (discriminability, intentional status) were not always matched; furthermore, comparisons of labels to other cues in preschool-aged children were limited. We addressed these issues by comparing the effects of

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    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LINGUISTIC AND NON LINGUISTIC COMMUNICATION. As language may not always be used to communicate, so also communication may be possible without necessarily using spoken language.. Linguistic communication differs from non-linguistic communication.. For communicating linguistically, the whole language is available.. Sometimes one can communicate in even more than one language, whereas the choices are limited for a non-linguistic communicator, such as, facial expressions, signs and gestures, movements of hands etc.. An interesting point here is that even linguistic communication is accompanied by certain elements of non-linguistic communication.. We mostly use language in order to communicate with others.. In every communicative situation there have to be at least two participants, the speaker, (sender of the message) the one who transmits a message and the listener (the receiver of the message).. Setting and topic play a vital role in the communication process and decide the mood and the kind of language to be used.. Just as a message can be conveyed through different channels of communication such as air, paper, wire etc, similarly there can b6 different forms of message such as written, verbal, telephonic etc.. To express feelings To express ideas or thoughts To socialise To instruct To give or receive directions Perform different linguistic functions To express feelings. In other words one language function can be expressed by many language forms and vice versa.

    The first element in this classification, “indicators”, are variables whose use is restricted to certain social groups, but whose use “shows zero degree of social awareness and are difficult to detect for both linguists and native speakers” (Labov 2001, p. 196).. ”Labov (1973) elaborates, stating: “stereotypes are referred to and talked about by members of the speech community; they may have a general label, and a characteristic phrase which serves equally well to identify them” As they grow, children learn to become members of the cultures into which they are born, it is from here that they get their cognitive understanding of the physical and more importantly the social world.. The following assignment explores the influences that different language styles have on the cultural outlook that children grow up to have, especially in context of stereotypes or prejudices that they might carry.. Biased language can also reinforce people’s false ideas of what men and women are.. As adults talk to children, they start teaching culturally specific language practices and transmitting cultural values.. Language also conveys culturally specific values through the books that children read, exposing them to culturally different ideas.. Learning the word and the concept happen simultaneously.

    The term “stereotype” was introduced into the variations of sociolinguistic literature in Labov’s (1973) taxonomy of language forms charged with broad social meaning, reprised in Labov (2001).. The first element in this classification, “indicators”, are variables whose use is restricted to certain social groups, but whose use “shows zero degree of social awareness and are difficult to detect for both linguists and native speakers” (Labov 2001, p. 196).. ”Labov (1973) elaborates, stating: “stereotypes are referred to and talked about by members of the speech community; they may have a general label, and a characteristic phrase which serves equally well to identify them” As they grow, children learn to become members of the cultures into which they are born, it is from here that they get their cognitive understanding of the physical and more importantly the social world.. The following assignment explores the influences that different language styles have on the cultural outlook that children grow up to have, especially in context of stereotypes or prejudices that they might carry.. Along with this, the nature and modification of speech, long sentences with more adjectives, exaggerations, also take place.. Biased language can also reinforce people’s false ideas of what men and women are.. Language also conveys culturally specific values through the books that children read, exposing them to culturally different ideas.. Words are a form of new information.. Learning the word and the concept happen simultaneously.. This influence of language on the development of culture specific beliefs would also count as an example of language as a vehicle of socialization.

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