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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human Learners Integrate Visual and Linguistic Information Cross-Situational Verb Learning


Learning verbs is challenging because it is difficult to infer the precise meaning of a verb when there are a multitude of relations that one can derive from a single event. To study this verb learning challenge, we used children's egocentric view collected from naturalistic toy-play interaction as learning materials and investigated how visual and linguistic information provided in individual naming moments as well as cross-situational information provided from multiple learning moments can help learners resolve this mapping problem using the Human Simulation Paradigm. Our results show that learners benefit from seeing children's egocentric views compared to third-person observations. In addition, linguistic information can help learners identify the correct verb meaning by eliminating possible meanings that do not belong to the linguistic category. Learners are also able to integrate visual and linguistic information both within and across learning situations to reduce the ambiguity in the space of possible verb meanings.

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