University of Cambridge > > RCEAL Tuesday Colloquia > Japanese two year olds use morphosyntax to learn verb meanings

Japanese two year olds use morphosyntax to learn verb meanings

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  • UserDr Ayumi Matsuo, University of Sheffield, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
  • ClockTuesday 02 February 2010, 16:00-17:30
  • HouseGR-06/07, English Faculty Building.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Chris Cummins.

As early as 2 years of age, English-speaking children infer the meaning of a novel verb, using information from the syntactic frame (the intransitive/transitive distinction) of the sentence (Gleitman, 1990). An obvious question that arises from such claims is whether or not the use of syntactic frames is a universal technique, regardless of the type of input languages, or a language-specific technique. Some research investigating children’s verb learning in argument drop languages, in which surface syntactic and morphological cues for verb meaning are not reliably prsent, is emerging (Imai et al. 2007, Göksun et al. 2008, Ratiamkul et al. 2004). This paper investigates whether syntactic as well as morphological cues (frames and case markers) are used by Japanese 2-year-olds when learning novel verbs.

This talk is part of the RCEAL Tuesday Colloquia series.

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