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Description - How Children Learn the Meanings of Words by Paul Bloom

How do children learn that the word "dog" refers not to all four-legged animals, and not just to Ralph, but to all members of a particular species? How do they learn the meanings of verbs like "think", adjectives like "good", and words for abstract entities such as "mortgage" and "story"? The acquisition of word meanings is one of the fundamental issues in the study of mind. According to Paul Bloom, children learn words through sophisticated cognitive abilities that exist for other purposes. These include the ability to infer others' intentions, the ability to acquire concepts, an appreciation of syntactic structure, and certain general learning and memory abilities. Although our researchers have associated word learning with some of these capacities, Bloom is the first to show how a complete explanation requires rich conceptual, social and linguistic capacities interacting in complex ways. This book requires no background in linguistics or philosophy and is written in a clear, engaging style. Topics include the effects of language on spatial reasoning, the origin of essentialist beliefs and the young child's understanding of representational art.
The book should appeal to general readers interested in language and cognition as well as to researchers in the field.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262523295
ISBN-10: 0262523299
Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Pages: 314
Imprint: Bradford Books
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 25-Jan-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at Yale University.