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This article explores whether infants are able to learn words as rapidly as has been reported for preschoolers. Sixty-four infants aged 1;6 were taught labels for either two moving images or two still images. Each image-label pair was presented three times, after which comprehension was assessed using an adaptation of the intermodal preferential looking paradigm. Three repetitions of each label were found to be sufficient for learning to occur, fewer than has previously been reported for infants under two years. Moreover, contrary to a previous finding, learning was equally rapid for infants who were taught labels for moving versus still images. The findings indicate that infants in the early stages of acquiring a vocabulary learn new word-referent associations with ease, and that the learning conditions that allow such learning are less restricted that was previously believed.


Journal article


J Child Lang

Publication Date





175 - 189


Child Language, Female, Humans, Infant, Male, Verbal Learning, Vocabulary