The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

ESSL / LaqLab Meeting 4/4 - Sudha Arunachalam

Speaker: Sudha Arunachalam (BU)
Title: How do children learn the meanings of event nominals?
Date and time: Monday, April 4th, 1:00 to 2:00 PM
Venue: 32-D831

Abstract: In the literature on vocabulary acquisition, much attention has been paid to the conceptual and linguistic differences between early-acquired verbs (labels for actions) and early-acquired nouns (labels for objects and people) and how these pose different learning tasks for the child. Event nominals pose an interesting challenge in that some are relatively early acquired, like “party” and “nap,” but they pose the same conceptual difficulties that accompany verbs while lacking the linguistic supports offered by verb argument structure. I would like to have an informal discussion about how we might investigate children’s representations for these early event nominals and what underlies their abilities to acquire them.