Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure: by Melissa Bowerman, Penelope Brown

By Melissa Bowerman, Penelope Brown

This booklet deals a special interdisciplinary standpoint on argument constitution and its function in language acquisition. Drawing on a vast diversity of crosslinguistic facts, this quantity exhibits that languages are even more different of their argument constitution homes than has been learned.

The quantity is the end result of an built-in examine undertaking and contains chapters via either experts in first language acquisition and box linguists engaged on various lesser-known languages. The study attracts on unique fieldwork and on grownup information, baby information, or either from seventeen languages from 11 diverse language households. a few chapters supply typological views, reading the elemental buildings of a given language with language-learnability concerns in brain. different chapters examine particular difficulties of language acquisition in a single or extra languages. Taken as a complete, the quantity illustrates how exact paintings on crosslinguistic version is important to the advance of insightful theories of language acquisition.

Crosslinguistic views on Argument constitution integrates vital modern concerns in linguistics and language acquisition.

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They are temporary events. , things, what then are ‘keep, adhere, extend, project, continue, persist, grow, dwell,’ and so on doing among the verbs? If it be objected that ‘possess, adhere’ are verbs because they are stable relationships rather than stable percepts, why then should ‘equilibrium, pressure, current, peace, group, nation, society, tribe, sister’, or any kinship term be among the nouns? Whorf argues here that speakers do not derive their sense that a particular experience has the properties of an Action, say, rather than those of an Object, from its inherent nature.

1992). An overview of ergative phenomena and their implications for language acquisition. In D. I. ), The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition (Vol. 3, pp. 15–37). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Van Valin, R. , & LaPolla, R. J. (1997). Syntax: Structure, meaning and function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. PART I Verb Meaning and Verb Syntax: Crosslinguistic Puzzles for Language Learners CHAPTER 2 A Person, a Place, or a Thing? Whorfian Consequences of Syntactic Bootstrapping in Mopan Maya Eve Danziger University of Virginia 1.

How, in short, does the child determine “that it is the phonological object /run/, not /horse/ or /marathoner/—that is to be mapped onto the action concept” (Gleitman, 1990: 4)? 2 The hypothesis of syntactic bootstrapping (Gleitman, 1990) follows up on these findings to take the radical and interesting step of proposing that children use their innate knowledge of the universal mapping between syntax and semantics in order to deduce semantic meaning from syntactic occurrence, as well as the other way around.

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