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Students present results on Intermodal Preferential Looking

Research Achievements

Students present results on Intermodal Preferential Looking

At the 2013 Linguistic Society of America meeting, Snyder, Naigles, Lillo-Martin, & Petroj presented results from the first study to apply Intermodal Preferential Looking (experimental technique from developmental psychology) to a test of a "parametric" hypothesis from theoretical linguistics, where grammatical information a child acquires is more abstract than surface structures it yields. Snyder (1995-2012) argues for “The Compounding Parameter” (±TCP), where [+TCP] is needed for particle constructions (pull the top off) and "creative" noun-noun compounding ('NNC', apple box lid). Two-year-olds viewed 2 side-by-side images, and heard audio matching only one, with items testing comprehension of particles ("She's kicking it up/down!"), and NNC (“Look at the hand chair / hand on the chair!”). As predicted, children who looked longer at matching images for particles also looked significantly longer and more quickly to NNC matches, indicating an abstract generalization to novel NNCs.