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ERIC Number: EJ1030515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
The Acquisition of Syntactically Encoded Evidentiality
Rett, Jessica; Hyams, Nina
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v21 n2 p173-198 2014
This article presents several empirical studies of syntactically encoded evidentiality in English. The first part of our study consists of an adult online experiment that confirms claims in Asudeh & Toivonen (2012) that raised Perception Verb Similatives (PVSs; e.g. "John looks like he is sick") encode direct evidentiality. We then present the results of an acquisition study based on an exhaustive examination of the corpora of 45 American English-speaking children in the CHILDES database (McWhinney & Snow 1985). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that children as young as two behave like adults in their ability to correlate the syntax of these constructions with the type of evidence they have. This claim is supplemented by a direct comparison of children's and adults' PVS constructions in the corpora. Together, the studies constitute preliminary indication of children's ability to track and grammatically encode evidence source, even in "non-evidential" languages like English.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A