Title

Verbs: Learning How Speakers Use Words to Refer to Actions

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

Children grow up in a complex world and must acquire their native language from a dynamic environment. From infancy, they need to segment the continuous stream of action that surrounds them into meaningful events and figure out how parents use words to describe these events. Verbs vary by language so parents speaking different languages may use different verbs to refer to different events or parts of events (e.g., Talmy, 1975). Thus, learning a new verb has been described as solving a “packaging problem” (e.g,. Gleitman & Gleitman, 1992) because what children need to do when faced with learning a new verb is to conceptually package dynamic, transient events in just those ways that fit a particular verb in their language (Gentner, 1982; Gentner & Boroditsky, 2001).

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.4324/9781315730974

Editor

Gert Westermann, Nivedita Mani

Publisher

Routledge

City

London

ISBN

9781138843516

Publication Information

Early Word Learning

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