Put and explain readily occur in sentences with three noun phrases, and think accepts an embedded sentence as its complement. One example is the view developed by Grimshaw 1990. Why nouns are learned before verbs: Linguistic relativity versus natural partitioning. Second, both the learned correspondence and structural alignment accounts require relatively abstract representations of sentences and scenes. A Problem-Solving Model of Infant Perseveration in Nonmemoryand-Motor Tasks. Names for things: A study of human learning. Structural Alignment and Language Acquisition 49 Fisher, C.
The principal elements of sentence structures are the number, type e. However, similar sequences that named an inanimate referent The report examined. As noted earlier, 87% of the mothers produced at least one generic in a 10- to 15-min session. Infant-directed speech in several languages is characterized by smoothed and expanded pitch contours separated by long pauses, in contrast to the choppier contours of adult-directed speech e. Even prelinguistic infants appear to be subject to this predisposition e. The test questions concerned species-typical thoughts or memories e.
Structure and meaning in the verb lexicon: Input for a syntax-aided verb learning procedure. An important additional piece of evidence favoring the structural alignment basis of the semantic difference between subject and object is that a very similar syntactic and semantic asymmetry holds between direct and oblique or prepositional objects. Thanks in advance for your time. The structure of the sentence must have provided children with information about the possible meanings of verbs in a way not mediated by identity of the subject versus the object of the sentence—and thus not based directly on linking rules like those expressed in 12. Again, children rarely made use of information regarding number of exemplars or diversity of exemplars, thus suggesting the power of a category to promote broad generalizations from even a single instance.
Second, however, if the subject—object asymmetry provides information about semantic prominence, specifying a sentence subject should override event-derived preferences in interpretation. Although a singular noun preceded by the can be generic e. And a certain bonus of the effort is to be an early consumer of a least one or two papers destined to become 'classics' in the field. Arguments whose roles are higher in this hierarchy are more likely to be sentence subjects than those lower in the hierarchy: Agents are more prominent than the themes of motion events, for example. I draw heavily from work in my own laboratory, but also other work that is relevant.
Structure and variation in child language. If children are sensitive to sentence structures, then they can learn the verbs their language provides, even though verbs vary within and across languages in their perspectives on the same events. However, the apparent ease of acquisition of nonactional verbs like want and see, in the presence of this tendency toward action interpretations, suggests that additional powerful cues lead children away from action meanings when necessary. The Construction of Partial Sentence Structures The next step is to examine the structural requirements of the structural alignment procedure more closely. From conceptual roles to structural relations: Bridging the syntactic cleft.
This could help to solve the perspective problem with which I began: The semantic structure of a verb encompasses just the differences in perspective which make verb learning so mysterious. They also have strong expectations about insides, kinship, origins, teleology, and the appearance-reality distinction. Children were then shown pictures of two school-aged children, one dark-skinned and the other light-skinned, and asked which was the child when he or she grew up and began school. First, and most crucially, the structural alignment view readily permits limited variation in verb syntax and semantics within and across languages. One only hopes that additional volumes in the series will be forthcoming. Mayr, 1991; Sober, 1994 , let alone socially constructed categories such as race e.
The child would want to be active but would be forced into not being more active and would get used to it. On average, a child would have to hear a transitive verb eight times before hearing it once with both of its arguments present in a single sentence. The rarity of within-utterance 38 Cynthia Fisher acoustic cues to phrase boundaries suggests that other distributional supports for the asymmetrical internal structure of sentences are needed e. In the Insides condition, the experimenter described internal properties e. Many observers have noted the frequency of partial self-repetitions in maternal speech e. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 21, 296 — 306. Each page depicted either a single instance of a particular category e.
Three-year-olds viewed videotaped displays in which the animacy and mobility of two participants varied independently. The lack of a set of semantic or syntactic criteria that pick out a single subject category across languages constitutes a long-standing problem in linguistic theory e. Both of these kinds of information—the syntactic requirements of verbs and the semantic relations they encode—must be part of what we know about each verb. The Chechen-Ingush verb appears to analyze hitting as a motion event in which some object e. Children under 24 months do learn verbs; therefore, Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff concluded that they do so without assistance from sentence structure.
However, given that typically we do not have direct access to the essence, the correlated and observable properties become crucial to many tasks Keil, 1989. They all share, however, an abstract notion of semantic prominence, aligned with the syntactic distinction between subject and object. Important aspects of the meaning of a verb, however, are surprisingly indirectly related to the situation it comments on. Stressing a medial word thus helped the children to identify the stressed word itself. However, two small pieces of evidence suggest that children may link internal cause to external movement for artifacts.
Nature—Nurture: Beliefs about Gender Another example of more powerful expectations at a younger age comes from the domain of gender. Advances in Child Development and Behavior is intended to ease the task faced by researchers, instructors, and students who are confronted by the vast amount of research and theoretical discussion in child development and behavior. Do we need to invoke essences at all? At the opposite extreme, the most frequent verbs in English occur in a bewildering variety of sentence structures and seem to have little meaning that persists across uses. To differentiate the predictions of different accounts of syntactic bootstrapping, we need to know exactly what children can represent about sentences at various points in development. . Basic word order: Functional principles.