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ERIC Number: EJ1102971
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Converging and Competing Cues in the Acquisition of Syntactic Structures: The Conjoined Agent Intransitive
Noble, Claire; Iqbal, Faria; Lieven, Elena; Theakston, Anna
Journal of Child Language, v43 n4 p811-842 Jul 2016
In two studies we use a pointing task to explore developmentally the nature of the knowledge that underlies three- and four-year-old children's ability to assign meaning to the intransitive structure. The results suggest that early in development children are sensitive to a first-noun-as-causal-agent cue and animacy cues when interpreting conjoined agent intransitives. The same children, however, do not appear to rely exclusively on the number of nouns as a cue to structure meaning. The pattern of results indicates that children are processing a number of cues when inferring the meaning of the conjoined agent intransitive. These cues appear to be in competition with each other and the cue that receives the most activation is used to infer the meaning of the construction. Critically, these studies suggest that children's knowledge of syntactic structures forms a network of organization, such that knowledge of one structure can impact on interpretation of other structures.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A