Cross-situational word learning in Chinese

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


This study extended previous findings on cross-situational learning of minimal word pairs by using Cantonese Chinese, a language that can separate the effects from individual lexical components of a word: initial consonant, rime and tone. Sixty native Cantonese speakers were recruited to participate in a standard cross-situational word learning task. In the cross-situational word learning task, four different types of word pairs were used: (1) a non-minimal word pair (N); (2) a consonant minimal word pair (C); (3) a rime minimal word pair (R) and (4) a tone minimal word pair (T). The results showed that participants could learn the word-referent mapping for all types of word pair but they performed better on N and T types of word pairs than the other two types of word pairs (i.e. C and R). Together with other previous evidence, these findings suggest that Cantonese language learners can learn and encode those phonetic details while they learn the word-referent co-occurrence probabilities, and the present results also suggest that the tonal information seemed to be more important than the other phonological components in word learning of Cantonese. Copyright © 2018 59th Annual Meeting Psychonomic Society.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
EventThe 59th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 15 Nov 201818 Nov 2018


ConferenceThe 59th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Internet address


Yip, M. C. W. (2018, November). Cross-situational word learning in Chinese. Poster presented at the 59th Annual Meeting Psychonomic Society, Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


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