|Budget Amount *help
¥5,300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥5,300,000)
Fiscal Year 2005 : ¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,500,000)
Fiscal Year 2004 : ¥1,600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,600,000)
Fiscal Year 2003 : ¥2,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,200,000)
This research investigated how children parse action events into elements and map each element to different type of words (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives), and how they generalize the newly learned words. Three series of experiments were conducted. In the first series, we presented novel nouns or verbs while they were watching action events consisting of an actor, an action, and a patient object. We then test two test events : the Object-Same-Action-Change (OS) event and Action-Same-Object-Change (AS) event. We found that young children easily map and generalize novel nouns to the OS event but had severe difficulty to map and generalize novel verbs to the AS event. In the second series of studies, we examined which of the two important semantic components of motion events-Path and Manner-would be incorporated in the verb meaning. Japanese and English-speaking children both started out with an assumption that novel verbs refer to Path rather than Manner, but with development, they become sensitive to the distributional pattern in their own language. In English, verbs referring to Manner are much more common than verbs referring to Path, and English-speaking preschool-age children and adults predominantly generalized novel verbs on the basis of Manner. In contrast, Japanese preschoolers and adults did not show either Manner bias or Path bias. In the third series, we investigated how Japanese 2,3, and 5-year-olds utilize argument structure in inferring the meaning of novel verbs.