Avoiding dative overgeneralisation errors: semantics, statistics or both?

Ambridge, Ben ORCID: 0000-0003-2389-8477, Pine, Julian M ORCID: 0000-0002-7077-9713, Rowland, Caroline F, Freudenthal, Daniel and Chang, Franklin ORCID: 0000-0003-1142-1911
(2014) Avoiding dative overgeneralisation errors: semantics, statistics or both? LANGUAGE COGNITION AND NEUROSCIENCE, 29 (2). pp. 218-243.

[img] Text
AmbridgeLCP2014.pdf - Unspecified

Download (1MB)


How do children eventually come to avoid the production of overgeneralisation errors, in particular, those involving the dative (e.g., *I said her ‘‘no’’)? The present study addressed this question by obtaining from adults and children (5-6, 9-10 years) judgements of well-formed and over-general datives with 301 different verbs (44 for children). A significant effect of pre-emption*whereby the use of a verb in the prepositional-object (PO)-dative construction constitutes evidence that double-object (DO)-dative uses are not permitted*was observed for every age group. A significant effect of entrenchment*whereby the use of a verb in any construction constitutes evidence that unattested dative uses are not permitted*was also observed for every age group, with both predictors also accounting for developmental change between ages 5-6 and 9-10 years. Adults demonstrated knowledge of a morphophonological constraint that prohibits Latinate verbs from appearing in the DO-dative construction (e.g., *I suggested her the trip). Verbs’ semantic properties (supplied by independent adult raters) explained additional variance for all groups and developmentally, with the relative influence of narrow- vs broad-range semantic properties increasing with age. We conclude by outlining an account of the formation and restriction of argument-structure generalisations designed to accommodate these findings.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ## TULIP Type: Articles/Papers (Journal) ##
Uncontrolled Keywords: child language acquisition, retreat from overgeneralisation, entrenchment, pre-emption, semantic verb class hypothesis
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2016 08:32
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 23:48
DOI: 10.1080/01690965.2012.738300
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3000416