‘Odd-One-Out’: Semantic Feature Representation through Babies’ Eyes

Words are organized in our mental lexicon as interrelated units with different types of shared semantic features. Some of these features are category-based, or taxonomic features (e.g., ‘cat’ and ‘dog’); some are situation-based, or thematic features (e.g., ‘dog’ and ‘leash’); and some are perceptual (e.g., ‘orange’ and ‘basketball’). How do individuals with diverse linguistic backgrounds utilize and prioritize different semantic features across development? In this talk, I will give an overview of our newly funded project on semantic feature representation development in infant- and toddler-age children growing up in English monolingual, Chinese-English, and Farsi-English bilingual environments. I will introduce the ‘odd-one-out’ task, which probes children’s semantic feature preference: children are shown an array of three pictures, the middle picture, as the standard, shares one feature with the picture to the left, and one other feature with the picture to the right. Children are expected to look at the picture that is ‘odd’ to them, which indicates a priority over the shared feature between the remaining two pictures. During my talk, I will also share preliminary eye-tracking data with the current task design and discuss future project plans. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

9:40 – 10:10 AM ADT

Dr. Xin Sun
Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Psychology
University of British Columbia

Dr. Alexis Black
Assistant Professor, School of Audiology & Speech Sciences
University of British Columbia

Dr. Suzanne Curtin
Co-Lead, Oral Language Theme
Vice-Provost and Dean Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Brock University

Dr. Alona Fyshe
Co-Lead, Computational Modelling Theme
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science – Computing Science
University of Alberta

Dr. Henny Yeung
Co-Lead, Language Background & Culture
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics
Simon Fraser University

Dr. Janet Werker
Co-Lead, Oral Language Theme
University Killam Professor and Canada Research Chair
University of British Columbia