Do Small Elephants Exist?
Prototypicality Effects in the Acquisition of Dimensional Adjectives
In this study, I have tested the assumption that in child language acquisition dimensional adjectives are prototype-free by looking at the acquisition of these words by children. The results of longitudinal data from English and Dutch show that the predictions of the non-prototypicality hypothesis are disconfirmed. Children initially apply dimensional adjectives only to a restricted set of entities, most prominent of which are prototypical instantiations of the entity (e.g., 'tower' for tall). After having stored a critical mass of adjective-object pairings, children are able to make generalisations and extract spatial schemas. The findings provide support to Prefab Theory and Categorical Learning Theory, and disconfirm the predictions of Semantic Feature Theory.
Published online: 24 March 2014
Cited by 3 other publications
TRIBUSHININA, ELENA & WILLEM M. MAK
Tribushinina, Elena, Huub van den Bergh, Marianne Kilani-Schoch, Ayhan Aksu-Koç, Ineta Dabašinskienė, Gordana Hrzica, Katharina Korecky-Kröll, Sabrina Noccetti & Wolfgang Dressler
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