Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

German children's comprehension of word order and case marking in causative sentences


Dittmar, M; Abbot-Smith, K; Lieven, E; Tomasello, M (2008). German children's comprehension of word order and case marking in causative sentences. Child Development, 79(4):1152-1167.

Abstract

Two comprehension experiments were conducted to investigate whether German children are able to use the grammatical cues of word order and word endings (case-markers) to identify agents and patients in a causative sentence, and whether they weigh these two cues differently across development. Two-year-olds correctly understood only sentences with both cues supporting each other – the prototypical form. Five-year-olds were able to use word order by itself, but not case-markers. Only seven-year-olds behaved like adults by relying on case-markers over word order when the two cues conflicted. These findings suggest that prototypical instances of linguistic constructions with redundant grammatical marking play a special role in early acquisition, and only later do children isolate and weigh individual grammatical cues appropriately.

Abstract

Two comprehension experiments were conducted to investigate whether German children are able to use the grammatical cues of word order and word endings (case-markers) to identify agents and patients in a causative sentence, and whether they weigh these two cues differently across development. Two-year-olds correctly understood only sentences with both cues supporting each other – the prototypical form. Five-year-olds were able to use word order by itself, but not case-markers. Only seven-year-olds behaved like adults by relying on case-markers over word order when the two cues conflicted. These findings suggest that prototypical instances of linguistic constructions with redundant grammatical marking play a special role in early acquisition, and only later do children isolate and weigh individual grammatical cues appropriately.

Statistics

Citations

68 citations in Web of Science®
69 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

112 downloads since deposited on 23 Dec 2008
16 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

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:2008
Deposited On:23 Dec 2008 13:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:44
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1467-8624
Additional Information:The attached file is a preprint (accepted version) of an article published in Child Development 79(4):1152-1167.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01181.x

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations