Productivity of Noun Slots in Verb Frames.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Productivity is a central concept in the study of language and language acquisition. As a test case for exploring the notion of productivity, we focus on the noun slots of verb frames, such as __want__, __see__, and __get__. We develop a novel combination of measures designed to assess both the flexibility and creativity of use in these slots. We do so using a rigorously controlled sample of child speech and child directed speech from three English-speaking children between the ages of 2-3 years and their caregivers. We find different levels of creativity and flexibility between the adult and child samples for some measures, for some slots, and for some developmental periods. We discuss these differences in the context of verb frame semantics, conventionality versus creativity and child errors, and draw some tentative conclusions regarding developmental changes in children's early grammatical representations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Theakston, AL; Ibbotson, P; Freudenthal, D; Lieven, EVM; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • August 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1369 - 1395

PubMed ID

  • 25604137

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1551-6709

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0364-0213

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cogs.12216


  • eng