Quantifying Semantic Linguistic Maturity in Children

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We propose a method to quantify semantic linguistic maturity (SELMA) based on a high dimensional semantic representation ofwords created from the co-occurrence of words in a large text corpus. The method was applied to oral narratives from 108 children aged 4;0–12;10. By comparing the SELMA measure with maturity ratings made by human raters we found that SELMA predicted the rating of semantic maturity made by human raters over and above the prediction made using a child’s age and number of words produced. We conclude that the semantic content of narratives changes in a predictable pattern with children’s age and argue that SELMA is a measure quantifying semantic linguistic maturity. The study opens up the possibility of using quantitative measures for studying the development of semantic representation in children’s narratives, and emphasizes the importance of word co-occurrences for understanding the development of meaning.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Psykologi


Sidor (från-till)1183–1199
Antal sidor17
TidskriftJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Utgåva nummer5
Tidigt onlinedatum2015 okt 6
StatusPublished - 2016 okt
Peer review utfördJa


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