Chapter

Who's the Subject? Sentence Structure and Verb Meaning

Cynthia Fisher and Hyun-joo Song

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/9780195170009.003.0016
Who's the Subject? Sentence Structure and Verb Meaning

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This chapter argues that once children can identify the subject of a multiargument sentence as structurally prominent, they could assign a default interpretation to sentences containing a novel verb by assuming that the subject referent plays a semantically prominent role in the conceptual relation named by the verb. What counts as prominent will be determined by the situation and by the multidimensional attentional and representational biases of human perceivers.

Keywords: subject; sentence structure; verb meaning; multiargument sentence; novel verb

Chapter.  15609 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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