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Children's judgements of transitivity errors*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Judith G. Hochberg
Affiliation:
Stanford University

Abstract

Diary studies of English, Hebrew and Portuguese have led to debate on whether there is directionality in children's transitivity errors – that is, whether children are as likely to coin intransitives from transitives (*Bert knocked down) as they are transitives from intransitives (*I falled my cup). The judgements made by 3- and 4-year-olds showed a strong bias in favour of innovative transitives in English. It is argued that this bias results from children's preference for prototypical, highly transitive descriptions of events.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1986

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