Chapter published in:Semantics in Language Acquisition
Edited by Kristen Syrett and Sudha Arunachalam
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 24] 2018
► pp. 68–92
Semantic features of early verb vocabularies
Much research has asked why verbs are difficult to acquire, and how toddlers nevertheless acquire them. Still, we know little about what kinds of verb meanings are easy or difficult to acquire. We revisit Rescorla and colleagues’ data on vocabulary knowledge in toddlers acquiring English, Italian, Greek, Korean, and Portuguese measured using the Language Development Survey. We coded the survey’s verbs for several semantic features to determine which features predict appearance in toddlers’ vocabularies. For English, manner and result verbs were equally well known across samples, but verbs labeling durative events and events with fewer event participants were more likely to be known than those labeling punctual events and events involving more participants. Similar trends held in the other languages.
Keywords: vocabulary composition, verbs, lexical semantics, verb learning, cross-linguistic, language development survey
Published online: 02 August 2018
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Cited by other publications
Haebig, Eileen, Eva Jiménez, Christopher R Cox & Thomas T Hills
HORVATH, Sabrina, Leslie RESCORLA & Sudha ARUNACHALAM
Jiménez, Eva, Eileen Haebig & Thomas T. Hills
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