Traditional views of cognition, cognitive development, and word learning have viewed knowledge as divorced from processes of perceiving and acting. Linda Smith has championed a dynamic, mechanistic, and processoriented view of cognition and focused on questions of development. She has shown how knowledge is embedded in, distributed across, and inseparable from the processes of perceiving and acting in the world. In so doing, she has enabled a new understanding of the nature of cognition and of how new ways of thinking come to be. This Rumelhart symposium in her honor illustrates how this focus on developmental process changes the questions asked and our resulting understanding of cognition. The five speakers will examine the developmental process of word learning from different vantage points ranging from perceptual to social to cognitive, and spanning multiple periods from the first words to rapid vocabulary growth to the building of semantic networks.