How do children construct the color lexicon? : Restructuring the domain as a connected system

Abstract

The present study investigated how children learn the meanings of basic color words and are immersed into the language-specific system of the color lexicon. The study examined how children discover the boundaries of color names by having 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children produce names for 93 color patches. We found that even 3-year-olds children can map color words to its typical referents. At the same time, they struggle to delineate the boundaries between neighboring color words. The results indicated that, in learning color words, children continuously restructure the entire semantic domain by discovering and adjusting the linguistic boundaries between the neighboring words.


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