Statistics and semantics in the acquisition of Spanish word order: testing two accounts of the retreat from locative overgeneralization errors

AGUADO-OREA, Javier, OTERO, Nuria and AMBRIDGE, Ben (2016). Statistics and semantics in the acquisition of Spanish word order: testing two accounts of the retreat from locative overgeneralization errors. Linguistics Vanguard. (In Press)

[img]
Preview
PDF
Aguado-Orea_Otero_Ambridge_2016_Statistics and semantics in the acquisition of Spanish word order.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Official URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/lingvan.ahead-of-...
Link to published version:: 10.1515/lingvan-2015-0021

Abstract

Native speakers of Spanish (children aged 6–7, 10–11 and adults) rated grammatical and ungrammatical ground- and figure-locative sentences with high frequency, low frequency and novel verbs (e. g., Lisa llenó/forró/nupó la caja con papel; *Lisa llenó/forró/nupó papel en la caja, ‘Lisa filled/ lined/nupped the box with paper’; ‘Lisa filled/lined/nupped paper into the box’) using a 5-point scale. Echoing the findings of a previous English study (a language with some important syntactic differences relevant to the locative), participants rated errors as least acceptable with high frequency verbs, more acceptable with low frequency verbs, and most acceptable with novel verbs, suggesting that learners retreat from error using statistically-based learning mechanisms regardless of the target language. In support of the semantic verb class hypothesis, adults showed evidence of using the meanings assigned to novel verbs to determine the locative constructions in which they can and cannot appear. However, unlike in the previous English study, the child groups did not. We conclude that the more flexible word order exhibited by Spanish, as compared to English, may make these types of regularities more difficult to discern. Keywords: child language acquisition, Spanish, locatives, argument structure overgeneralization errors, verb semantics, statistical learning, entrenchment, pre-emption

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1515/lingvan-2015-0021
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jose Javier Aguado Orea
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2016 08:57
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:50
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12975

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics