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Filling gaps in early word learning

Years of research has shown that children do not learn words at random, but in distinct patterns. Why do we observe the patterns that we do? By using network science and investigating the words that children don’t learn, researchers have potentially uncovered a general property of word learning as a process of gap forming and filling.

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Fig. 1: An example of a knowledge gap in a child’s semantic network.


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Correspondence to Thomas T. Hills.

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Hills, T.T., Siew, C.S.Q. Filling gaps in early word learning. Nat Hum Behav 2, 622–623 (2018).

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