ERIC Number: EJ777506
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Splitting the Notion of "Agent": Case-Marking in Early Child Hindi
Journal of Child Language, v32 n4 p787-803 Nov 2005
Two construals of agency are evaluated as possible innate biases guiding case-marking in children. A BROAD construal treats agentive arguments of multi-participant and single-participant events as being similar. A NARROWER construal is restricted to agents of multi-participant events. In Hindi, ergative case-marking is associated with agentive participants of multi-participant, perfective actions. Children relying on a broad or narrow construal of agent are predicted to overextend ergative case-marking to agentive participants of transitive imperfective actions and/or intransitive actions. Longitudinal data from three children acquiring Hindi (1;7 to 3;9) reveal no overextension errors, suggesting early sensitivity to distributional patterns in the input.
Descriptors: Verbs, Indo European Languages, Structural Analysis (Linguistics), Longitudinal Studies, Agency Role, Language Acquisition, Error Analysis (Language), Generative Grammar, Predictive Measurement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Sponsor: Max Planck Inst., Nijmegan (Netherlands).
Authoring Institution: N/A