In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

1 Supplementary Materials A Survey of child behavioral results A.1 Child behavioral data This is a synthesis of 38 behavioral acquisition studies relating to verb behaviors known by children by five years old. The specific verbs attested are used to identify which particular verbs ought (or ought not) to cluster together at different ages. A.1.1 Passivizable, intransitive, & monotransitive. A verb that’s passivizable is often one that can be used transitively (i.e., it allows an object). For example, eat is both passivizable (It was/got eaten) and (optionally) transitive (I ate it). However, verbs can also be used in the passive form even if they’re intransitive, because they can take an indirect object. We can see this with sneeze: It was/got sneezed at and I sneezed at it). In terms of acquisition evidence, we should be able to look at studies that investigate comprehension of transitive verbs and transitive cues, as well as studies that investigate children’s comprehension of passives. Moreover, for passives, comprehension of a “short” passive (e.g., It was/got eaten) should be sufficient, rather than requiring comprehension of a “long” passive (e.g., It was/got eaten by the cat). Also, if children comprehend the long passive, they should be able to comprehend the short passive for that verb. The ability to comprehend the passive usage of a verb correctly seems to come significantly after the cues to transitivity are recognized. For example, by two years old, English children recognize that the frame She’s Xing the man indicates X is a transitive verb and so expect a transitive meaning where one agent affects another; they also recognize the frame She’s Xing indicates X is an intransitive verb, and so expect an intransitive (e.g., unaccusative or unergative) meaning with only a single agent (Naigles, 1990, Naigles and Kako, 1993, Yuan and Fisher, 2009). At 28 months, they also recognize cues involving multiple frames to identify verbs as optionally transitive vs. unaccusative (Scott and Fisher, 2009). Maratsos 1974. Maratsos (1974) finds that children can pass an act-out task with full passives using the verbs bump and push by age four and a half. Maratsos et al. 1985. Maratsos, Fox, Becker and Chalkley (1985) found that children can comprehend long passives for these verbs by age 4: find, hold, kick, kiss, push, wash. They comprehend long passives for these verbs by age 5: like, love. They comprehend long passives for these verbs by age 9: hate, remember, see. Gordon & Chafetz 1990. Gordon and Chafetz (1990) found that children can comprehend both short and long passives for these verbs by age 3: drop, eat, carry, hold, hug, kick, kiss, shake, Supplementary materials for ‘Comparing solutions to the linking problem using an integrated quantitative framework of language acquisition’, by Lisa S. Pearl and Jon Sprouse. Language 95(4).583–611, 2019. 2 wash, watch. However, they fail to comprehend either long or short passives for these by age 3 to 4: believe, forget, hate, hear, know, like, remember, see. O’Brien et al. 2006 & Nguyen et al. 2016. O’Brien, Grolla and Lillo-Martin (2006) found that children can comprehend long passives for these verbs by age 3 (and 4) when the pragmatic context makes the use of the passive more felicitous: hug, chase, like, see. However, Nguyen, Lillo-Martin and Snyder (2016) found that three- and four-year-olds only seem to comprehend long passives for hug and chase, though they comprehend short passives for all four verbs. Hirsch & Wexler 2007. Hirsch and Wexler (2007) found that three-year-old children can comprehend long passives for these actional verbs at greater than chance rates in a two-choice sentence picture-matching task: hold, kick, kiss, push. In contrast, only seven-year-old children (and older) comprehend long passives for these psychological verbs at greater than chance rates: hate, love, remember, see. Crain et al. 2009. Crain, Thornton and Murasugi (2009) report samples of elicited long passives from 9 three-year-olds, 22 four-year-olds, and one five-year-old. We can assume that if these children produce a passive structure, they have classified the verbs as passivizable. Based...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.