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ERIC Number: EJ851471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
Learning Verbs without Arguments: The Problem of Raising Verbs
Becker, Misha
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v34 n2 p173-199 Mar 2005
This paper addresses the problem of learning the class of raising verbs (e.g. seem). These verbs are potentially problematic for learners in that unlike typical main verbs, these verbs do not stand in a semantic relation with any Noun Phrase (NP) arguments. Moreover, a second class of verbs, known as control verbs, shares certain distributional properties with raising verbs, but the two verb classes differ in important structural properties. The central problem addressed here is that of how a learner would distinguish raising verbs from control verbs, given their partial overlap in distribution. A series of experiments with English-speaking adults using a fill-in-the-blank questionnaire revealed two main types of cues that led participants to distinguish the two verb classes: inanimate NPs and semantically empty subjects ("it's raining") yielded the highest proportion of raising verb responses from adults, while animate NPs paired with eventive predicates yielded a high rate of control verb responses. On the basis of these results, suggestions are made as to how one should study the learning of these verbs in children.
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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