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ERIC Number: EJ936694
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
The Role of Input Frequency and Semantic Transparency in the Acquisition of Verb Meaning: Evidence from Placement Verbs in Tamil and Dutch
Narasimhan, Bhuvana; Gullberg, Marianne
Journal of Child Language, v38 n3 p504-532 Jun 2011
We investigate how Tamil- and Dutch-speaking adults and four- to five-year-old children use caused posture verbs ("lay/stand a bottle on a table") to label placement events in which objects are oriented vertically or horizontally. Tamil caused posture verbs consist of morphemes that individually label the causal and result subevents ("nikka veyyii" "make stand"; "paDka veyyii" "make lie"), occurring in situational and discourse contexts where object orientation is at issue. Dutch caused posture verbs are less semantically transparent: they are monomorphemic ("zetten" "set/stand"; "leggen" "lay"), often occurring in contexts where factors other than object orientation determine use. Caused posture verbs occur rarely in Tamil input corpora; in Dutch input, they are used frequently. Elicited production data reveal that Tamil four-year-olds use infrequent placement verbs appropriately whereas Dutch children use high-frequency placement verbs inappropriately even at age five. Semantic transparency exerts a stronger influence than input frequency in constraining children's verb meaning 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