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ERIC Number: EJ1062128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
"Love" Is Hard to Understand: The Relationship between Transitivity and Caused Events in the Acquisition of Emotion Verbs
Hartshorne, Joshua K.; Pogue, Amanda; Snedeker, Jesse
Journal of Child Language, v42 n3 p467-504 May 2015
Famously, "dog bites man" is trivia whereas "man bites dog" is news. This illustrates not just a fact about the world but about language: to know who did what to whom, we must correctly identify the mapping between semantic role and syntactic position. These mappings are typically predictable, and previous work demonstrates that young children are sensitive to these patterns and so could use them in acquisition. However, there is only limited and mixed evidence that children do use this information to guide acquisition outside of the laboratory. We find that children understand emotion verbs which follow the canonical CAUSE-VERB-PATIENT pattern ("Mary frightened/delighted John") earlier than those which do not ("Mary feared/liked John"), despite the latter's higher frequency, suggesting children's generalization of the mapping between causativity and transitivity is broad and active in acquisition.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation; National Institutes of Health (DHHS); US Department of Defense
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: 0623845