Lexical and structural biases in the acquisition of motion verbs

Abstract
It is well known that languages differ in how they encode motion. Languages such as English use verbs that communicate the manner of motion (e.g., climb, float), while languages such as Greek often encode the path of motion in verbs (e.g., advance, exit). In two studies with English- and Greek-speaking adults and 5-year-olds, we ask how such lexical constraints are used in combination with structural cues in hypothesizing meanings for novel motion verbs cross-linguistically. We show that lexicalization biases affect the interpretations of motion verbs in both young children and adults across different languages; furthermore, their scope of application is larger than previously thought, since they also extend to the domain of caused motion events. Crucially, we find that the language-specific effects of such biases interact with universal mappings between syntactic structure and semantic content. Finally, we demonstrate that the combined effects of lexical and structural cues shift non-linguistic biases observed during event categorization: even though speakers of English and Greek share non-linguistic preferences in categorizing spontaneous and caused motion, they focus on different components of motion events when building hypotheses about the meaning of novel motion verbs.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Christoph Hoerl (2012). Seeing Motion and Apparent Motion. European Journal of Philosophy:n/a-n/a.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-12-22

    Total downloads

    8 ( #138,555 of 1,088,426 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,426 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.