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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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Preverbal Spatial Cognition and Language-Specific Input: Categories of Containment and Support

Preverbal Spatial Cognition and Language-Specific Input: Categories of Containment and Support

Chapter:
(p.191) 7 Preverbal Spatial Cognition and Language-Specific Input: Categories of Containment and Support
Source:
Action Meets Word
Author(s):

Soonja Choi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.003.0008

This chapter examines how preverbal infants may be ready to acquire the language-specific semantics on the containment and support relations. Specifically, the study is directed at understanding the kinds of spatial categories that are formed preverbally and how these interact with the language-specific semantic categories which will later be expressed as either verbs (in Korean) or prepositions (in English). It shows that infants analyze the containment and support relations in different ways. Whereas infants categorically distinguished the containment relation on the basis of the tight-fit feature, they did not do so for the support relation. One explanation is proposed: that the two relations differ in the degree of homogeneity of the spatial configuration, and perhaps that is why subdivision of the relation by tight-fit feature is easier for the containment relation than for the support relation.

Keywords:   preverbal infants, language-specific semantics, support relations, spatial categories, Korean language, English language, containment relations, support relations

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