Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure

Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262518406
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 05/24/2013
Series: Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 1,277,517
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author


Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. His books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Better Angels of Our Nature have won numerous prizes.


Susan Carey is the Henry A. Morss Jr. and Elisabeth W. Morss Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She is the first woman to receive the 2009 David E. Rumelhart Prize, given annually since 2001 for significant contributions to the theoretical foundation of human cognition.

Hometown:

Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

September 18, 1954

Place of Birth:

Montreal, Canada

Education:

B.A., McGill University, 1976; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1979

Table of Contents

Series Foreword xi

The Secret Life of Verbs: A Preface to the New Edition xiii

Acknowledgments xix

1 A Learnability Paradox 1

1.1 Argument Structure and the Lexicon 4

1.2 The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition 5

1.3 Baker's Paradox 8

1.4 Attempted Solutions to Baker's Paradox 10

2 Constraints on Lexical Rules 53

2.1 Morphological and Phonological Constraints 53

2.2 Semantic Constraints 56

2.3 How Semantic and Morphological Constraints Might Resolve Baker's Paradox 60

2.4 Evidence for Criteria-Governed Productivity 61

2.5 Problems for the Criteria-Governed Productivity Theory 66

3 Constraints and the Nature of Argument Structure 73

3.1 Overview: Why Lexical Rules Carry Semantic Constraints 73

3.2 Constraints on Lexical Rules as Manifestations of More General Phenomena 77

3.3 A Theory of Argument Structure 83

3.4 On Universality 110

4 Possible and Actual Forms 115

4.1 The Problem of Negative Exceptions 115

4.2 Transitive Action Verbs as Evidence for Narrow Subclasses 122

4.3 The Nature of Narrow Conflation Classes 125

4.4 Defining and Motivating Subclasses of Verbs Licensing the Four Alternations 128

4.5 The Relation between Narrow-Range and Broad-Range Rules 177

5 Representation 193

5.1 The Need for a Theory of Lexicosemantic Representation 193

5.2 Is a Theory of Lexical Semantics Feasible? 195

5.3 Evidence for a Semantic Subsystem Underlying Verb Meanings 198

5.4 A Cross-linguistic Inventory of Components of Verb Meaning 202

5.5 A Theory of the Representation of Grammatically Relevant Semantic Structures 205

5.6 Explicit Representations of Lexical Rules and Lexicosemantic Structures 245

5.7 Summary 288

6 Learning 291

6.1 Linking Rules 292

6.2 Lexical Semantic Structures 298

6.3 Broad Conflation Classes (Thematic Cores) and Broad-Range Lexical Rules 311

6.4 Narrow Conflation Classes and Narrow-Range Lexical Rules 317

6.5 Summary of Learning Mechanisms 330

7 Development 333

7.1 Developmental Sequence for Argument Structure Alternations 334

7.2 The Unlearning Problem 342

7.3 Children's Argument Structure Changing Rules Are Always Semantically Conditioned 349

7.4 Do Children's Errors Have the Same Cause as Adults'? 374

7.5 Acquisition of Verb Meaning and Errors in Argument Structure 383

7.6 Some Predictions about the Acquisition of Narrow-Range Rules 408

7.7 Summary of Development 412

8 Conclusions 415

8.1 A Brief Summary of the Resolution of the Paradox 415

8.2 Argument Structure as a Pointer between Syntactic Structure and Propositions: A Brief Comparison with a "Connectionist" Alternative 416

8.3 The Autonomy of Semantic Representation 420

8.4 Implications for the Semantic Bootstrapping Hypothesis 424

8.5 Conservatism, Listedness, and the Lexicon 429

8.6 Spatial Schemas and Abstract Thought 436

Notes 441

References 455

Index 475

What People are Saying About This

Times Higher Education Supplement - Paul Fletcher

The author's arguments are never less than impressive, and sometimes irresistible, such is the force and panache with which they are deployed.

Lila Gleitman

Learnability and Cognition is theoretically a big advance, beautifully reasoned, and a goldmine of information.

Ray Jackendoff

A monumental study that sets a new standard for work on learnability.

Endorsement

Learnability and Cognition is theoretically a big advance, beautifully reasoned, and a goldmine of information.

Lila Gleitman, University of Pennsylvania

From the Publisher

A monumental study that sets a new standard for work on learnability.

Ray Jackendoff, Tufts University

The author's arguments are never less than impressive, and sometimes irresistible, such is the force and panache with which they are deployed.

Paul Fletcher, Times Higher Education Supplement

Learnability and Cognition is theoretically a big advance, beautifully reasoned, and a goldmine of information.

Lila Gleitman, University of Pennsylvania

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