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Lexical Disambiguation in Verb Learning: Evidence from the Conjoined-Subject Intransitive Frame in English and Mandarin Chinese
Arunachalam, Sudha1; Syrett, Kristen2; Chen, YongXiang3,4
2016-02-16
Source PublicationFRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN1664-1078
SubtypeArticle
Volume7Issue:0Pages:1-14
AbstractWhen presented with a novel verb in a transitive frame (X is Ving Y), young children typically select a causative event referent, rather than one in which agents engage in parallel, non-causative synchronous events. However, when presented with a conjoined-subject intransitive frame and Y are Ving), participants (even adults, as we show) are at chance. Although in some instances, children older than three can obtain above-chance-level performance, these experiments still appear to rely upon a within-experiment contrast with the transitive frame. This leads us to ask whether children can achieve success with the intransitive frame without such a contrast among constructions, and map a novel verb appearing in such a frame onto a non-causative meaning. Building on recent evidence that adverbial modifiers can support word learning for adjectives and for verbs (when both nominal and verbal candidate interpretations are considered) by directing children to a particular construal of a scene, we test the hypothesis that a semantically informative modifier, together, will provide children with additional lexical information that allows them to narrow down verb meaning and identify a non-causative interpretation for a novel verb appearing in the conjoined-subject intransitive frame. We find that for English-speaking children and adults it does, but only when together directly modifies the verb phrase, suggesting that participants appeal to compositionality and not just the brute addition of another word, even one that is semantically meaningful, to arrive at the intended interpretation. Children acquiring Mandarin Chinese, in contrast, do not succeed with the translation-equivalent of together (although adult speakers do), but they do with dou (roughly, the distributive quantifier "each"). Our results point to a valuable source of information young children learning verbs: modifiers with familiar semantics.
Keywordlexical semantics verb learning syntactic bootstrapping adverbs modification distributivity Mandarin Chinese conjoined-subject intransitive
DOI10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00138
Indexed BySSCI
Language英语
Funding OrganizationNIH(K01DC013306) ; Rutgers Startup grant ; Aresty Research Center at Rutgers-New Brunswick ; Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS) at Rutgers ; State University of New Jersey New Brunswick ; Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing by the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences(KJZD-LW-L04) ; Chinese Institute of Psychology
WOS Research AreaPsychology
WOS SubjectPsychology, Multidisciplinary
WOS IDWOS:000370127700001
WOS HeadingsSocial Sciences
WOS KeywordEARLY SENTENCE COMPREHENSION ; ARGUMENT STRUCTURE ; WORD-ORDER ; CHILDREN ; NOUNS ; VOCABULARY ; ACQUISITION ; ADJECTIVES ; MEANINGS ; SPEAKING
Citation statistics
Cited Times:3[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.psych.ac.cn/handle/311026/19573
Collection中国科学院行为科学重点实验室
Affiliation1.Boston Univ, Dept Speech Language & Hearing Sci, Boston, MA 02215 USA
2.Rutgers State Univ, Dept Linguist, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 USA
3.Shanxi Univ, Sch Educ Sci, Taiyuan 030006, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Behav Sci, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Arunachalam, Sudha,Syrett, Kristen,Chen, YongXiang. Lexical Disambiguation in Verb Learning: Evidence from the Conjoined-Subject Intransitive Frame in English and Mandarin Chinese[J]. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY,2016,7(0):1-14.
APA Arunachalam, Sudha,Syrett, Kristen,&Chen, YongXiang.(2016).Lexical Disambiguation in Verb Learning: Evidence from the Conjoined-Subject Intransitive Frame in English and Mandarin Chinese.FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY,7(0),1-14.
MLA Arunachalam, Sudha,et al."Lexical Disambiguation in Verb Learning: Evidence from the Conjoined-Subject Intransitive Frame in English and Mandarin Chinese".FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 7.0(2016):1-14.
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