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The Development of Verb Concepts: Children's Use of Verbs to Label Familiar and Novel Events
Douglas A. Behrend
Vol. 61, No. 3 (Jun., 1990), pp. 681-696
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130953
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Verbs, Children, Words, Nouns, Child development, Age groups, Child psychology, Age, Adults, Child care
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The importance of actions, results, and instruments in verb concepts was examined in four studies. Study 1 investigated how children label familiar events for which instrument, action, and result verbs were appropriate labels. In Study 2, subjects were taught novel verbs and were asked to use these verbs to label events in which the instrument, action, or result had been changed. Study 1 showed that 3-year-olds used action verbs more frequently than older children and adults, and that they preferred to use an action verb over a result verb when both verbs were appropriate labels. Instrument verbs were used most frequently as first responses to the events, and were most frequently used by older children and adults. In Study 2, subjects were least likely to use the novel verbs to label events in which the result had changed. This effect increased with age. Action changes had a moderate effect for all age groups, while instrument changes had the weakest effect. Studies 3 and 4 ruled out stimulus salience and a familiar word strategy as interpretations of these findings. The studies are discussed in terms of current theory and research on conceptual development, word-learning strategies, and the semantic organization of nouns and verbs.
Child Development © 1990 Society for Research in Child Development