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Over-Extending and Under-Extending Word Meanings

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January 30, 2017
Over-Extending and Under-Extending Word Meanings

Have you noticed that your child, who recently learned a word like “dog,” is now using that word to refer to any four-legged fur ball? That’s called over-extending, and it is a normal stage as children assign meanings to words they’re learning. Related to that is under-extending — that’s when your child uses a word like “dog” to mean just one particular animal, such as the pet in your house.


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