When less is more: Evidence from verb learning in Korean 4- and 5-year-olds.

Sudha Arunachalam, Angela Xiaoxue He, Hyun-joo Song

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference posterpeer-review

Abstract

An unfamiliar verb’s linguistic context provides useful information to its meaning. Some contexts, e.g., “the tall boy is pilking” (modified subject), provide more information than others, e.g., “the boy is pilking” (unmodified subject), and may better facilitate verb learning. Here, we show evidence to the contrary. Korean-learning 4- and 5-year-olds successfully learned novel verbs from unmodified subjects. With modified subjects, however, they either struggled to process the modified noun phrases, or even when they did process them, they still failed to learn the verb. We suggest that processing modified subjects poses a challenge to children’s parsers, and leaves insufficient resources for learning the verb. This is consistent with previous findings with English learners, providing more evidence that a linguistic context’s processability interacts with its informativeness to shape verb learning across languages.

Conference

ConferenceThe 45th Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period5/11/208/11/20
Internet address

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