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Understanding EventsFrom Perception to Action$
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Thomas F. Shipley and Jeffrey M. Zacks

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188370.001.0001

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Speaking of Events: Event Word Learning and Event Representation

Speaking of Events: Event Word Learning and Event Representation

Chapter:
(p.193) 8 Speaking of Events: Event Word Learning and Event Representation
Source:
Understanding Events
Author(s):

Mandy J. Maguire

Guy O. Dove

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188370.003.0009

This chapter examines the difficulty facing children attempting to learn novel event labels. Children must overcome what has become known as the “packaging problem”: they must figure out which event components among the many that co-occur are bundled, or “packaged”, together within the meaning of an event word. It argues that children initially use two main sources of information to help them learn event words. The first is prelinguistic universal concepts, which give them a toehold into abstracting and labeling important event features. The second is the use of perceptual similarity across same-labeled exemplars, which initially makes verb meanings quite conservative and situation-specific.

Keywords:   event labels, children, event perception, packaging problem, event words, prelinguistic universal concepts, perceptual similarity

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