Chapter

A Unified Theory of Word Learning: Putting Verb Acquisition in Context

Mandy J. Maguire, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

in Action Meets Word

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195170009
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893300 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.003.0015
A Unified Theory of Word Learning: Putting Verb Acquisition in Context

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This chapter expands a broad-based developmental theory of word learning (the emergentist coalition model [ECM]) to illuminate how children acquire language with a specific focus on verb acquisition. In so doing, it demonstrates how the theory of word learning originally developed for the understanding of noun learning can encompass the study of verbs. It also explains a persistent paradox in verb learning — why some verbs appear early even though the class of verbs is generally hard to master.

Keywords: word learning; verb acquisition; emergentist coalition model

Chapter.  12540 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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