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Action Meets WordHow children learn verbs$
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Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta M. Golinkoff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.001.0001

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Who's the Subject? Sentence Structure and Verb Meaning

Who's the Subject? Sentence Structure and Verb Meaning

Chapter:
(p.392) 15 Who's the Subject? Sentence Structure and Verb Meaning
Source:
Action Meets Word
Author(s):

Cynthia Fisher

Hyun-joo Song

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.003.0016

This chapter argues that once children can identify the subject of a multiargument sentence as structurally prominent, they could assign a default interpretation to sentences containing a novel verb by assuming that the subject referent plays a semantically prominent role in the conceptual relation named by the verb. What counts as prominent will be determined by the situation and by the multidimensional attentional and representational biases of human perceivers.

Keywords:   subject, sentence structure, verb meaning, multiargument sentence, novel verb

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