The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 123–134 | Cite as

The Emergence of the Listener to Speaker Component of Naming in Children as a Function of Multiple Exemplar Instruction

  • R. Douglas GreerEmail author
  • Lauren Stolfi
  • Mapy Chavez-Brown
  • Celestina Rivera-Valdes


We tested the effect of multiple exemplar instruction on the transfer of stimulus function for unfamiliar pictures across listener responses (i.e., matching and pointing) and speaker responses (i.e., pure tacts and impure tacts). Three preschool students, who were 3- and 4-year-old males and did not have the listener to speaker component of the naming repertoire, participated in the experiment. The dependent variable was numbers of correct responses to probe trials of both untaught listener responses (“point to__”) and speaker responses (tact and impure tacts) following mastery of matching responses for two sets of five unfamiliar pictures (Set 1 and Set 3). After each participant mastered matching (e.g., “match Labrador”) for Set 1 pictures they were probed on the three untaught responses to Set 1 words. That is, they were asked to point to Labrador, tact the picture of Labrador, and respond to the picture of a Labrador and the question “What is this?” Next, the participants were taught mastery of all four types of responses using MEI for a second set of five pictures (Set 2) and probed again on the 3 untaught Set 1 responses. Finally, matching responses were taught to mastery for a novel set of pictures (Set 3) and then probed on the three untaught responses. The results showed that untaught speaker responses emerged at 60% to 85% for two participants, and 40%- 70% for one participant. We discuss the role of instructional history in the development of the listener to speaker component of naming.

Key words

naming generative verbal behavior novel verbal behavior multiple exemplar experiences 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Douglas Greer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lauren Stolfi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mapy Chavez-Brown
    • 1
    • 2
  • Celestina Rivera-Valdes
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Teachers CollegeNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.The Graduate School of Arts and SciencesColumbia UniversityUSA

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