Concept, word, and sentence: Interrelations in acquisition and development

  • Nelson K
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A conceptual model is proposed to account for the child's initial translation of meanings into words. The model is discussed in terms of the char- acteristics of word acquisition and of the relation between first words and first sentences. While concept formation theory, semantic feature theory, and Piagetian theory are each alone inadequate to account for this process, each makes a necessary contribution to an adequate solution. The result- ing model rests upon the assumption that the young child translates the dynamic functional relations of objects into conceptual "core" meanings to which identificational features of concept instances are attached. It dif- ferentiates between the meaning of a concept and its referents and relates these to concept generation and concept identification, respectively. Some wider implications of the model for acquiring concepts and general semantic categories and for constructing sentences are briefly considered.

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  • conceptual model, initial translation of meanings into words, children

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  • Katherine Nelson

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