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ERIC Number: EJ1048366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Word Order, Referential Expression, and Case Cues to the Acquisition of Transitive Sentences in Italian
Abbot-Smith, Kirsten; Serratrice, Ludovica
Journal of Child Language, v42 n1 p1-31 Jan 2015
In Study 1 we analyzed Italian child-directed-speech (CDS) and selected the three most frequent active transitive sentence frames used with overt subjects. In Study 2 we experimentally investigated how Italian-speaking children aged 2;6, 3;6, and 4;6 comprehended these orders with novel verbs when the cues of animacy, gender, and subject-verb agreement were neutralized. For each trial, children chose between two videos (e.g., horse acting on cat versus cat acting on horse), both involving the same action. The children aged 2;6 comprehended S + object-pronoun + V (SO[subscript PRO]V) significantly better than S + V + object-noun (SVO[subscript NOUN]). We explain this in terms of cue collaboration between a low cost cue (CASE) and the FIRST ARGUMENT = AGENT cue which we found to be reliable 76% of the time. The most difficult word order for all age groups was the object-pronoun + V + S (O[subscript PRO]VS). We ascribe this difficulty to cue conflict between the two most frequent transitive frames found in CDS, namely V + object-noun and object-pronoun + V.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A