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Title:Comparing incidental learning of nouns and verbs using eye movements
Author(s):Wochna, Kacey
Advisor(s):Christianson, Kiel
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):incidental word learning
learning from context
part of speech
Abstract:It has long been assumed that people learn much of their vocabulary incidentally during the course of natural reading. Prior research has identified a host of factors that affect the ease or likelihood of learning a new word from written context. Findings from various areas of cognitive science suggest that part of speech should be one such factor. Nouns and verbs differ in their syntactic and semantic roles. As a result of these differences, verbs are generally considered to be harder to process and harder to learn. Most incidental word learning studies are not appropriate for examining part of speech differences, and those that have tried have found inconclusive results. In the present study, the effect of part of speech on incidental word learning was isolated and examined. Participants read real and novel nouns and verbs in one and two single sentence contexts while their eyes were tracked. Post-tests of word knowledge indicated that nouns were learned more effectively than verbs. The reading times for sentences containing novel nouns and verbs reflected the differences between these word classes. Readers devoted more attention to contextual information when a novel word was a verb. Reading patterns were also distinctly affected by multiple exposures to the novel word in either the same context or different contexts.
Issue Date:2012-05-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Kacey L Wochna
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-22
Date Deposited:2012-05

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