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The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 71–87 | Cite as

The Induction of Naming in Children with No Prior Tact Responses as a Function of Multiple Exemplar Histories of Instruction

  • Carol A. Fiorile
  • R. Douglas Greer
Article

Abstract

The phenomenon identified as naming is a key stage of language function that is missing in many children with autism and other language delay diagnoses. We identified four children with autism, who, prior to the implementation of this experiment, did not have the naming repertoire (either speaker to listener or listener to speaker) and who had no tact responses for two- or three-dimensional stimuli. Tact training alone did not result in a naming repertoire or echoic-to-tact responses for these students. We then provided multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) across speaker and listener repertoires for a subset of stimuli (the teaching set) that resulted in untaught response components of naming and the capability to acquire naming after learning tacts for subsequent sets of stimuli. We used a delayed multiple-baseline probe design with stimuli counterbalanced across participants. The results showed that for all four students, mastery of tacts alone (the baseline or initial training condition) was not sufficient for the naming or echoic-to-tact repertoires to emerge. Following MEI the naming repertoire emerged for all four students for the initial set of stimuli. In addition, we tested for naming with novel stimuli that were probed prior to the MEI and naming also emerged following tact instruction alone for these sets. The results are discussed in terms of the role of naming in the incidental acquisition of verbal functions as part of the speaker-as-own-listener repertoire.

Key words

naming verbal behavior multiple exemplar instruction tact learn unit transformation of stimulus function 

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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teachers College and the Graduate School of Arts and SciencesColumbia UniversityUSA

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