Function words constrain on-line recognition of verbs and nouns in French 18-month-olds

Cauvet, Elodie and Alves Limissuri, Rita and Millotte, Severine and Skoruppa, Katrin and Cabrol, Dominique and Christophe, Anne. (2014) Function words constrain on-line recognition of verbs and nouns in French 18-month-olds. Language Learning and Development, 10 (1). pp. 1-18.

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In this experiment using the conditioned head-turn procedure, 18-month-old French-learning toddlers were trained to respond to either a target noun (“la balle”/the ball) or a target verb (“je mange”/I eat). They were then tested on target word recognition in two syntactic contexts: the target word was preceded either by a correct function word (“une balle”/a ball or “on mange”/they eat), or by an incorrect function word, signaling a word from the other category (*“on balle”/they ball or *“une mange”/a eat). We showed that 18-month-olds exploit the syntactic context on-line to recognize the target word: verbs were recognized when preceded by a personal pronoun but not when preceded by a determiner and vice-versa for nouns. These results suggest that 18-month-olds already know noun and verb contexts. As a result, they might be able to exploit them to categorize unknown words and constrain their possible meaning (nouns typically refer to objects whereas verbs typically refer to actions).
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Deutsche Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Kognitive Linguistik und Spracherwerbsforschung (Behrens, dt. Sprachw.)
UniBasel Contributors:Skoruppa, Katrin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:17 Nov 2021 11:19
Deposited On:17 Nov 2021 11:19

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