Abstract

Abstract:

We explore children’s use of syntactic distribution in the acquisition of attitude verbs, such as think, want, and hope. Because attitude verbs refer to concepts that are opaque to observation but have syntactic distributions predictive of semantic properties, we hypothesize that syntax may serve as an important cue to learning their meanings. Using a novel methodology, we replicate previous literature showing an asymmetry between acquisition of think and want, and we additionally demonstrate that interpretation of a less frequent attitude verb, hope, patterns with type of syntactic complement. This supports the view that children treat syntactic frame as informative about an attitude verb’s meaning.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 642-682
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-17
Open Access
No
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