Document Detail

Is children's acquisition of the passive a staged process? Evidence from six- and nine-year-olds' production of passives.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22182259     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ABSTRACTWe report a syntactic priming experiment that examined whether children's acquisition of the passive is a staged process, with acquisition of constituent structure preceding acquisition of thematic role mappings. Six-year-olds and nine-year-olds described transitive actions after hearing active and passive prime descriptions involving the same or different thematic roles. Both groups showed a strong tendency to reuse in their own description the syntactic structure they had just heard, including well-formed passives after passive primes, irrespective of whether thematic roles were repeated between prime and target. However, following passive primes, six-year-olds but not nine-year-olds also produced reversed passives, with well-formed constituent structure but incorrect thematic role mappings. These results suggest that by six, children have mastered the constituent structure of the passive; however, they have not yet mastered the non-canonical thematic role mapping. By nine, children have mastered both the syntactic and thematic dimensions of this structure.
Katherine Messenger; Holly P Branigan; Janet F McLean
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-12-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of child language     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-7602     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-12-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0425743     Medline TA:  J Child Lang     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1-26     Citation Subset:  -    
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
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