Events

Young children have poor cognitive control and difficulty overriding temporary misinterpretations during language processing. We explore whether cognitive control supports syntax-based word-learning when children have to revise misinterpretations. Using preferential-looking, we test whether 20-month-olds are able to use syntax to assign meaning (instrument vs. patient) to novel nouns in sentences containing patient-biased verbs ("She's pushing with the blicket" vs. "She's pushing the blicket"). We also assess infants' cognitive control using a working memory game. While infants with low cognitive control prefer the patient interpretation regardless of syntax, high cognitive control infants who had heard the "with the blicket" construction are more likely to prefer the syntactically-supported instrument interpretation.