The retreat from locative overgeneralisation errors : a novel verb grammaticality judgment study

Bidgood, A ORCID:, Ambridge, B, Pine, JM and Rowland, CF 2014, 'The retreat from locative overgeneralisation errors : a novel verb grammaticality judgment study' , PLoS ONE, 9 (5) , e97634.

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Whilst some locative verbs alternate between the ground- and figure-locative constructions (e.g. Lisa sprayed the flowers with water/Lisa sprayed water onto the flowers), others are restricted to one construction or the other (e.g. *Lisa filled water into the cup/*Lisa poured the cup with water). The present study investigated two proposals for how learners (aged 5–6, 9–10 and adults) acquire this restriction, using a novel-verb-learning grammaticality-judgment paradigm. In support of the semantic verb class hypothesis, participants in all age groups used the semantic properties of novel verbs to determine the locative constructions (ground/figure/both) in which they could and could not appear. In support of the frequency hypothesis, participants’ tolerance of overgeneralisation errors decreased with each increasing level of verb frequency (novel/low/high). These results underline the need to develop an integrated account of the roles of semantics and frequency in the retreat from argument structure overgeneralisation.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Related URLs:
Funders: Leverhulme Trust, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Depositing User: A Bidgood
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2018 12:53
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 23:53

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