ERIC Number: ED233575
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Patterns of Verb Use in Mother and Child.
de Villiers, Jill
The influence of maternal use of verbs upon a child's developing rule system for verb usage was examined. Previously reported data (Brown, 1983) on mother-to-child speech were analyzed. Thirteen different contexts for verb use were identified. There was a close resemblance between the way the child and his mother distributed their uses of verbs. There was very little immediate imitation on the part of either mother or child. Apparently the child monitored his mother's use of verbs as an index of their potential for new constructions. It is suggested that the child compared a verb's privileges of occurrence with other items heard in a particular construction. The greater the degree of overlap, the more confident he was that it participates in the construction. As a result, verbs with a variety of heard uses were used with greater confidence by the child even in unheard contexts. A mechanism of this sort would allow for novelty of verb use even while the child was storing information about syntactic rules in his lexicon. (RW)
Descriptors: Child Language, Language Acquisition, Language Usage, Learning Processes, Mothers, Parent Child Relationship, Syntax, Verbs
PRCLD, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($12.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In its: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Volume 22, p43-48, Jul 1983. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Child Language Research Forum (14th, Stanford, CA, March 1983).