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ERIC Number: EJ936709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Verb Argument Structure Acquisition in Young Children: Defining a Role for Discourse
Naigles, Letitia R.; Maltempo, Ashley
Journal of Child Language, v38 n3 p662-674 Jun 2011
Two-, three- and four-year-old English learners enacted sentences that were missing a direct object (e.g. *The zebra brings.). Previous work has indicated that preschoolers faced with such ungrammatical sentences consistently alter the usual meaning of the verb to fit the syntactic frame (enacting "zebra comes"); older children are more likely to repair the syntax to fit the meaning of the verb (enacting "zebra brings something"; Naigles, Gleitman & Gleitman, 1993). We investigated whether young children performed more repairs if an informative context preceded the ungrammatical sentences. Test sentences were preceded by short vignettes that created a relationship between three characters. Children repaired more sentences than had been found previously; however, older preschoolers also repaired significantly more frequently than younger preschoolers. Discourse context thus seems relevant to the acquisition of verb argument structure, but is not the sole source of information.
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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