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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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Finding the Verbs: Distributional Cues to Categories Available to Young Learners

Finding the Verbs: Distributional Cues to Categories Available to Young Learners

Chapter:
(p.31) 1 Finding the Verbs: Distributional Cues to Categories Available to Young Learners
Source:
Action Meets Word
Author(s):

Toben H. Mintz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.003.0002

This chapter discusses a kind of information inherent in the structure of children's linguistic input that they could use to categorize verbs together. The information is a type of distributional information involving the patterning of words in sentences. The general hypothesis is that words of the same grammatical form-class category (e.g. noun, verb, adjective, etc.) occur in similar distributional patterns across utterances and that this information could be a basis for learners to identify verbs as well as other categories. The chapter presents a two-part examination of the degree to which the category of words can accurately be derived from distributional information. The first part motivates and discusses in detail a recent approach involving frequent frames as a distributional context, and along the way provides a comparison to other recent distributional approaches. The second part presents preliminary behavioral evidence that infants, indeed, categorize novel words based on distributional information, and perhaps based on frequent frames.

Keywords:   verbs, distributional cues, young learners, linguistic input, distributional information, patterning of words

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