The Grammar Machine
This chapter investigates the ramifications for acquisition, of a grammatical model in which argument structure and event structure are not based on properties of vocabulary items, but rather, are associated with specific syntactic structures and projected independently of vocabulary. Within such an approach, vocabulary items dominated by a verb function as modifiers rather than as determinants of event structure. Crucially, if this model is on the right track, children acquiring language could not resort to their understanding of the meaning of a particular verb or any other information relevant to argument structure listed in individual entries to guide them into the syntactic projection of arguments. Rather, they must have syntactic knowledge on the projection of arguments and event structure independently of their knowledge of vocabulary. In turn, such children are expected to produce utterances in which the syntax of the event and the arguments and the actual verb embedded in it do not match.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.