General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 7 September, 2017 16:00 to 16:30

Oral presentation

Japanese 2-year-olds' Use of Multiple Cues in Verb Acquisition

Speaker: Ayumi Matsuo, Kobe College

Authors: Ayumi Matsuo and Letitia Naigles

Researchers have proposed that children use several cues to successfully exploit sentence frames when when learning novel verb meanings (Cameron-Faulkner et al., 2003; Dittmar et al., 2008; Fisher, 1994, 2002; Gertner & Fisher, 2013; Noble et al., 2016). These cues include preferences for (A) interpreting the first noun as causal agent, (B) each noun to bear a distinct thematic role, and (C) more frequent constructions. Cues B and C have been cited to explain why English- and German-learning children easily map the transitive verb in “the duck is gorping the bunny” onto a causative action but have more difficulty mapping the verb in the conjoined-NP sentence “the duck and the bunny are gorping” onto a noncausative action. That is, the two NP arguments in transitive sentences bear two distinct theta roles (Agent and Patient) whereas the NPs in the conjoined sentence share the Agent theta role; moreover, conjoined-NP sentences are more sparse in the input than transitive sentences. The results of our studies confirm that Japanese children make use of argument number and case markers when interpreting novel verbs, as they consistently preferred causative actions when hearing canonical SOV sentences (Gleitman, 1990). Use of cue A was supported; however, neither construction frequency nor a preference for NPs with distinct thematic roles was observed to play a role.

Further information:

L1 acquisition - Session II

Other activities in L1 acquisition - Session II

15:00 h. to 15:30 h.

Oral presentation

The acquisition of 'bridging' tested in a coloring task

Speaker: Jasmijn Bosch, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Speaker: Manuela Pinto, Universiteit Utrecht
Speaker: Shalom Zuckerman, Universiteit Utrecht

15:30 h. to 16:00 h.

Oral presentation

A Corpus Study of the Distribution of Possessives in Child and Adult Emirati Arabic

Speaker: Dimitrios Ntelitheos, United Arab Emirates University

16:30 h. to 17:00 h.

Oral presentation

Acquisition of Clausal Comparatives by Parameter Setting

Speaker: Ryosuke Hattori, University of Connecticut