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Young German children's early syntactic competence: a preferential looking study.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Dittmar, M; Abbot-Smith, K; Lieven, E; Tomasello, M
Published in: Developmental science
July 2008

Using a preferential looking methodology with novel verbs, Gertner, Fisher and Eisengart (2006) found that 21-month-old English children seemed to understand the syntactic marking of transitive word order in an abstract, verb-general way. In the current study we tested whether young German children of this same age have this same understanding. Following Gertner et al. (2006), one group of German children was tested only after they had received a training/practice phase containing transitive sentences with familiar verbs and the exact same nouns as those used at test. A second group was tested after a training/practice phase consisting only of familiar verbs, without the nouns used at test. Only the group of children with the training on full transitive sentences was successful in the test. These findings suggest that for children this young to succeed in this test of syntactic understanding, they must first have some kind of relevant linguistic experience immediately prior to testing--which raises the question of the nature of children's linguistic representations at this early point in development.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Developmental science

DOI

EISSN

1467-7687

ISSN

1363-755X

Publication Date

July 2008

Volume

11

Issue

4

Start / End Page

575 / 582

Related Subject Headings

  • Vocabulary
  • Verbal Learning
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Semantics
  • Male
  • Linguistics
  • Language Development
  • Language
  • Infant
  • Humans
 

Citation

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ICMJE
MLA
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Dittmar, M., Abbot-Smith, K., Lieven, E., & Tomasello, M. (2008). Young German children's early syntactic competence: a preferential looking study. Developmental Science, 11(4), 575–582. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00703.x
Dittmar, Miriam, Kirsten Abbot-Smith, Elena Lieven, and Michael Tomasello. “Young German children's early syntactic competence: a preferential looking study.Developmental Science 11, no. 4 (July 2008): 575–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00703.x.
Dittmar M, Abbot-Smith K, Lieven E, Tomasello M. Young German children's early syntactic competence: a preferential looking study. Developmental science. 2008 Jul;11(4):575–82.
Dittmar, Miriam, et al. “Young German children's early syntactic competence: a preferential looking study.Developmental Science, vol. 11, no. 4, July 2008, pp. 575–82. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00703.x.
Dittmar M, Abbot-Smith K, Lieven E, Tomasello M. Young German children's early syntactic competence: a preferential looking study. Developmental science. 2008 Jul;11(4):575–582.
Journal cover image

Published In

Developmental science

DOI

EISSN

1467-7687

ISSN

1363-755X

Publication Date

July 2008

Volume

11

Issue

4

Start / End Page

575 / 582

Related Subject Headings

  • Vocabulary
  • Verbal Learning
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Semantics
  • Male
  • Linguistics
  • Language Development
  • Language
  • Infant
  • Humans