LINGUIST List 9.1138

Mon Aug 17 1998

Books: Semantics / 2nd Lang Acquisition

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Rebecca Wipfler, Semantics/Syntax-Semantics Interface/Language Acquisition

Message 1: Semantics/Syntax-Semantics Interface/Language Acquisition

Date: 13 Aug 98 14:58:16 -0500
From: Rebecca Wipfler <>
Subject: Semantics/Syntax-Semantics Interface/Language Acquisition

van Hout, Angeliek; Event Semantics of Verb Frame Alternations:A Case
Study of Dutch and Its Acquisition; 0-8153-3128-2, cloth; pages, $91;
Garland Publishing; Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics

	Using both theoretical and language acquisition arguments,
this study proposes a new model of the lexicon-syntax interface
defined in terms of checking event-semantic features. The research is
based on Dutch verbs and their possible verb frames (intransitive,
transitive, etc.) and two studies of children's Dutch. The model
developed from these cases represents more generally the way in which
Universal Grammar organizes the lexicon of a language and the mapping
system that associates a verb's lexical features with its syntactic
projection. The author shows that a predicate's event-semantic or
aspectual properties define the mapping relation between lexicon and
syntax, rather than lexical-semantic information of the verb's event
participants, which is the more traditional view. A verb's appearance
in several different verb frames is determined by event type-shifting;
an atelic (= unbounded) or a telic (= bounded) event type yields
different verb frames, and so does a non-causative or a causative
event type. These effects can only be captured if the mapping relation
is sensitive to event semantics.
	The two acquisition studies offer a new and unique perspective
on verb learning. One is a longitudinal study on the acquisition of
light verbs; the other is an experimental study on the acquisition of
intransitive verbs. They show that children are sensitive to event
semantics from early in the language acquisition process.

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter