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The role of input frequency and semantic transparency in the acquisition of verb meaning: Evidence from placement verbs in Tamil and Dutch

Narasimhan, Bhuvana and Gullberg, Marianne LU (2011) In Journal of Child Language 38(3). p.504-532
Abstract
We investigate how Tamil- and Dutch-speaking adults and 4- to-5-year-old children use caused posture verbs (‘lay/stand a bottle on a table’) to label placement events in which objects are oriented vertically or horizontally. Tamil caused posture verbs consist of morphemes that individually label the causal and result subevents (nikka veyyii ‘make stand’; paDka veyyii ‘make lie’), occurring in situational and discourse contexts where object orientation is at issue. Dutch caused posture verbs are less semantically transparent: they are monomorphemic (zetten ‘set/stand’; leggen ‘lay’), often occurring in contexts where factors other than object orientation determine use. Caused posture verbs occur rarely in Tamil input corpora; in Dutch... (More)
We investigate how Tamil- and Dutch-speaking adults and 4- to-5-year-old children use caused posture verbs (‘lay/stand a bottle on a table’) to label placement events in which objects are oriented vertically or horizontally. Tamil caused posture verbs consist of morphemes that individually label the causal and result subevents (nikka veyyii ‘make stand’; paDka veyyii ‘make lie’), occurring in situational and discourse contexts where object orientation is at issue. Dutch caused posture verbs are less semantically transparent: they are monomorphemic (zetten ‘set/stand’; leggen ‘lay’), often occurring in contexts where factors other than object orientation determine use. Caused posture verbs occur rarely in Tamil input corpora; in Dutch input, they are used frequently. Elicited production data reveal that Tamil four-year-olds use infrequent placement verbs appropriately whereas Dutch children use highfrequency placement verbs inappropriately even at age five. Semantic transparency exerts a stronger influence than input frequency in constraining children’s verb meaning acquisition. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
semantic transparency, input frequency, placement events, child language acquisition, caused posture verbs, Tamil, Dutch
in
Journal of Child Language
volume
38
issue
3
pages
504 - 532
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000290111800003
  • scopus:79956072155
ISSN
1469-7602
DOI
10.1017/S0305000910000164
project
Cognition, Communication and Learning
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ab9ab859-cf12-4107-8a5e-67701c2f4a16 (old id 1578853)
date added to LUP
2010-06-23 17:35:16
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:38:09
@article{ab9ab859-cf12-4107-8a5e-67701c2f4a16,
  abstract     = {We investigate how Tamil- and Dutch-speaking adults and 4- to-5-year-old children use caused posture verbs (‘lay/stand a bottle on a table’) to label placement events in which objects are oriented vertically or horizontally. Tamil caused posture verbs consist of morphemes that individually label the causal and result subevents (nikka veyyii ‘make stand’; paDka veyyii ‘make lie’), occurring in situational and discourse contexts where object orientation is at issue. Dutch caused posture verbs are less semantically transparent: they are monomorphemic (zetten ‘set/stand’; leggen ‘lay’), often occurring in contexts where factors other than object orientation determine use. Caused posture verbs occur rarely in Tamil input corpora; in Dutch input, they are used frequently. Elicited production data reveal that Tamil four-year-olds use infrequent placement verbs appropriately whereas Dutch children use highfrequency placement verbs inappropriately even at age five. Semantic transparency exerts a stronger influence than input frequency in constraining children’s verb meaning acquisition.},
  author       = {Narasimhan, Bhuvana and Gullberg, Marianne},
  issn         = {1469-7602},
  keyword      = {semantic transparency,input frequency,placement events,child language acquisition,caused posture verbs,Tamil,Dutch},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {504--532},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Child Language},
  title        = {The role of input frequency and semantic transparency in the acquisition of verb meaning: Evidence from placement verbs in Tamil and Dutch},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0305000910000164},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2011},
}