Beyond Names for Things: Young Children's Acquisition of Verbs


Most research on children's lexical development has focused on their acquisition of names for concrete objects. This is the first edited volume to focus specifically on how children acquire their early verbs. Verbs are an especially important part of the early lexicon because of the role they play in children's emerging grammatical competence. The contributors to this book investigate:

• children's earliest words for actions and events and the cognitive structures that might underlie them,

• the possibility that the basic principles of word learning which apply in the case of nouns might also apply in the case of verbs, and
the role of linguistic context, especially argument structure, in the acquisition of verbs.

A central theme in many of the chapters is the comparison of the processes of noun and verb learning. Several contributors make provocative suggestions for constructing theories of lexical development that encompass the full range of lexical items that children learn and use.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Michael Tomasello
  • Patricia Smiley
  • Janellen Huttenlocher
  • Soonja Choi
  • Susan R. Braunwald
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Hillsdale, NJ
Publication year:
  • 1995