Cultural influences on the developing semantic lexicon

Karla McGregor, Natalie Munro, Su Mei Chen, Elise Baker, Jacob Oleson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To determine whether the developing semantic lexicon varies with culture, we examined the animal and food naming of children from three communities distinguished by language, cultural heritage, and population density. The children were five-and seven-year-olds from Australia (n = 197), Taiwan (n = 456), and the US (n = 172). Naming patterns revealed hierarchical and flexible organization of the semantic lexicon. The content of the lexicon, particularly food names, varied with cultural heritage. In all three communities, wild mammals were predominant during animal naming, a likely influence of children's media. The influence of the Chinese zodiac was evident in the clustering of animal names in the Taiwanese sample. There was no apparent influence of population density and little influence of language, except that the Taiwanese children more frequently named foods at the superordinate level, a possible influence of the structure of Mandarin. Children develop their lexicons in response to culture as experienced first-hand or through media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1309-1336
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Fingerprint

Semantics
semantics
animal
population density
food
Population Density
cultural heritage
Food
Names
Language
language
Taiwan
community
Cluster Analysis
Mammals
Lexicon
Cultural Influences
Organizations
organization
Naming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Cultural influences on the developing semantic lexicon. / McGregor, Karla; Munro, Natalie; Chen, Su Mei; Baker, Elise; Oleson, Jacob.

In: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 45, No. 6, 01.11.2018, p. 1309-1336.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McGregor, Karla ; Munro, Natalie ; Chen, Su Mei ; Baker, Elise ; Oleson, Jacob. / Cultural influences on the developing semantic lexicon. In: Journal of Child Language. 2018 ; Vol. 45, No. 6. pp. 1309-1336.
@article{d551467200c946669c8cd61c1c048111,
title = "Cultural influences on the developing semantic lexicon",
abstract = "To determine whether the developing semantic lexicon varies with culture, we examined the animal and food naming of children from three communities distinguished by language, cultural heritage, and population density. The children were five-and seven-year-olds from Australia (n = 197), Taiwan (n = 456), and the US (n = 172). Naming patterns revealed hierarchical and flexible organization of the semantic lexicon. The content of the lexicon, particularly food names, varied with cultural heritage. In all three communities, wild mammals were predominant during animal naming, a likely influence of children's media. The influence of the Chinese zodiac was evident in the clustering of animal names in the Taiwanese sample. There was no apparent influence of population density and little influence of language, except that the Taiwanese children more frequently named foods at the superordinate level, a possible influence of the structure of Mandarin. Children develop their lexicons in response to culture as experienced first-hand or through media.",
author = "Karla McGregor and Natalie Munro and Chen, {Su Mei} and Elise Baker and Jacob Oleson",
year = "2018",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0305000918000211",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "45",
pages = "1309--1336",
journal = "Journal of Child Language",
issn = "0305-0009",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cultural influences on the developing semantic lexicon

AU - McGregor, Karla

AU - Munro, Natalie

AU - Chen, Su Mei

AU - Baker, Elise

AU - Oleson, Jacob

PY - 2018/11/1

Y1 - 2018/11/1

N2 - To determine whether the developing semantic lexicon varies with culture, we examined the animal and food naming of children from three communities distinguished by language, cultural heritage, and population density. The children were five-and seven-year-olds from Australia (n = 197), Taiwan (n = 456), and the US (n = 172). Naming patterns revealed hierarchical and flexible organization of the semantic lexicon. The content of the lexicon, particularly food names, varied with cultural heritage. In all three communities, wild mammals were predominant during animal naming, a likely influence of children's media. The influence of the Chinese zodiac was evident in the clustering of animal names in the Taiwanese sample. There was no apparent influence of population density and little influence of language, except that the Taiwanese children more frequently named foods at the superordinate level, a possible influence of the structure of Mandarin. Children develop their lexicons in response to culture as experienced first-hand or through media.

AB - To determine whether the developing semantic lexicon varies with culture, we examined the animal and food naming of children from three communities distinguished by language, cultural heritage, and population density. The children were five-and seven-year-olds from Australia (n = 197), Taiwan (n = 456), and the US (n = 172). Naming patterns revealed hierarchical and flexible organization of the semantic lexicon. The content of the lexicon, particularly food names, varied with cultural heritage. In all three communities, wild mammals were predominant during animal naming, a likely influence of children's media. The influence of the Chinese zodiac was evident in the clustering of animal names in the Taiwanese sample. There was no apparent influence of population density and little influence of language, except that the Taiwanese children more frequently named foods at the superordinate level, a possible influence of the structure of Mandarin. Children develop their lexicons in response to culture as experienced first-hand or through media.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85049348346&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85049348346&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0305000918000211

DO - 10.1017/S0305000918000211

M3 - Article

C2 - 29961430

AN - SCOPUS:85049348346

VL - 45

SP - 1309

EP - 1336

JO - Journal of Child Language

JF - Journal of Child Language

SN - 0305-0009

IS - 6

ER -