Minami, Y. 1 , Moriyama, Y. 1 , Kobayashi, T. 2 & Okumura, Y. 2
1 The University of Electro-Communications
2 NTT Communication Science Laboratories
This research investigates the correlation between the infant word production processes of two arbitrary words. To obtain this correlation, we collected data from 1040 children using a vocabulary checklist of 2688 words that covers most of the vocabulary of Japanese infants and calculated their infant word production rate curves. We used the Q3 statistics in the item response theory to calculate the net correlation between the infant acquisition patterns of two arbitrary words, removing the correlation affected by the rates of the two words. We illustrated the word relations by lines whose correlation values greater than 0.3 and found that such conceptually close words as 'spoon' and 'fork' were grouped. We also found that 'paper,' 'rock,' and 'scissors' were correlated as well as 'give me' and 'thank you.' This suggests that since infants recognize that the daily procedural words are related, they produce them in a correlated way. We also confirmed that onomatopoeic words were also grouped. In Japanese, since the sound structures of these words are very similar, infants might produce them in a correlated way. These results confirm that the Q3 statistics show the potential to reveal new facts about children's word acquisition process.