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ERIC Number: EJ1128653
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1547-5441
Syntactic Cues for Inferences about Causality in Language Acquisition: Evidence from an Argument-Drop Language
Suzuki, Takaaki; Kobayashi, Tessei
Language Learning and Development, v13 n1 p24-37 2017
Syntactic bootstrapping facilitates children's initial learning of verb meanings based on syntactic information. A challenging case is the argument-drop languages, where the number of argument NPs is not a reliable cue for distinguishing between transitive and intransitive verbs. Despite this fact, the availability of syntactic bootstrapping in Japanese (Matsuo et al., 2012) implies that case-marking particles play a role in the identification of a verb's transitivity. This study investigates whether Japanese-speaking 2-year-olds infer the meaning of novel verbs using case-marking cues as well as typical transitive/intransitive frames. The results of the intermodal preferential looking paradigm showed that they made transitive-causative association, even when only a direct object marked with the accusative case was provided. This indicates that children can utilize case markers as cues to a verb's transitivity. We suggest that all these discoveries provide support for the availability of syntactic bootstrapping in Japanese and its universality in language acquisition.
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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
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A