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Children aged 2 ; 1 use transitive syntax to make a semantic-role interpretation in a pointing task


Dittmar, M; Abbot-Smith, K; Lieven, E; Tomasello, M (2011). Children aged 2 ; 1 use transitive syntax to make a semantic-role interpretation in a pointing task. Journal of child language, 38(05):1109-1123.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: The current study used a forced choice pointing paradigm to examine whether English children aged 2 ; 1 can use abstract knowledge of the relationship between word order position and semantic roles to make an active behavioural decision when interpreting active transitive sentences with novel verbs, when the actions are identical in the target and foil video clips. The children pointed significantly above chance with novel verbs but only if the final trial was excluded. With familiar verbs the children pointed consistently above chance. Children aged 2 ; 7 did not show these tiring effects and their performance in the familiar and novel verb conditions was always equivalent.

ABSTRACT: The current study used a forced choice pointing paradigm to examine whether English children aged 2 ; 1 can use abstract knowledge of the relationship between word order position and semantic roles to make an active behavioural decision when interpreting active transitive sentences with novel verbs, when the actions are identical in the target and foil video clips. The children pointed significantly above chance with novel verbs but only if the final trial was excluded. With familiar verbs the children pointed consistently above chance. Children aged 2 ; 7 did not show these tiring effects and their performance in the familiar and novel verb conditions was always equivalent.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
1 citation in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:17 Oct 2011 12:51
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:02
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0305-0009
Additional Information:Copyright: Cambridge University Press
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000910000747
PubMed ID:21457589
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-50075

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