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The Conceptual Origins of the Transitive/Intransitive Distinction

Rispoli, Matthew; Bloom, Lois

Evidence is presented to support the claim that two-year-old children learning English acquire the transitive/intransitive distinction from their developing knowledge about action events, consistent with cognitivist theories of language development. Their temporal perspective on an action–when a child planned, requested, or otherwise anticipated an action–was a critical factor. Thus, acquiring the transitive / intransitive distinction was influenced by the volitionality of the locus of change in addition to the distinction between an actor and the object affected.

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Also Published In

Title
Papers and Reports of the Child Language Research Forum
Publisher
Stanford University Department of Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Human Development
Published Here
May 8, 2018
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