ERIC Number: ED191268
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
"Don't You Fall Me Down": Children's Generalizations Regarding Cause and Transitivity. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 17.
A study of overregularized use of verbs by two children over a period when they were 2 1/2 to 5 years of age shows overregularizations in two directions: non-causative verbs were used as causatives; and causative verbs were used non-causatively. According to terminology from logic, predicates were classified according to the number of noun-phrase arguments that occur with them: intransitives take one argument, transitives take two arguements, and bi-transitives take three. Analysis of the data indicated that: (1) children's overregularizations reflect a paradigm not in terms of deep case roles or semantic primitives, but in terms of syntactic positions, rather than a directional rule; and (2) the generalizations are not in terms of the semantic element "cause," but in terms of the number and grammatical relations of noun phrase arguments associated with the verb. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.