Clinical Issues: What’s in a Word? A Functional Analysis of Word Learning An unexceptionable view of word learning or vocabulary acquisition is that it entails learning a word form, a meaning, and the link between them (e.g., Desrochers & Begg, 1987; Saussure, 1916). However, this simple formulation encompasses a multitude of different abilities and subcomponents. As a result, the terms “vocabulary acquisition” ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   October 01, 2005
Clinical Issues: What’s in a Word? A Functional Analysis of Word Learning
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Prahlad Gupta
    Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   October 01, 2005
Clinical Issues: What’s in a Word? A Functional Analysis of Word Learning
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 2005, Vol. 12, 4-8. doi:10.1044/lle12.3.4
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 2005, Vol. 12, 4-8. doi:10.1044/lle12.3.4
An unexceptionable view of word learning or vocabulary acquisition is that it entails learning a word form, a meaning, and the link between them (e.g., Desrochers & Begg, 1987; Saussure, 1916). However, this simple formulation encompasses a multitude of different abilities and subcomponents. As a result, the terms “vocabulary acquisition” and “word learning” have been used to mean a wide variety of different things. This article begins by outlining a simple functional framework for thinking about various types and aspects of word learning. It then applies this framework to characterizing several important streams of investigation within the word learning literature, in the belief that locating these investigations with respect to each other is a useful endeavor.
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