Words are the building blocks of language. An understanding of how words
are learned is thus central to any theory of language acquisition.
Although there has been a surge in our understanding of children's
vocabulary growth, theories of word learning focus primarily on object
nouns. Word learning theories must explain not only the learning of
object nouns, but also the learning of other, major classes of words -
verbs and adjectives. Verbs form the hub of the sentence because they
determine the sentence's argument structure. Researchers throughout the
world recognize how our understanding of language acquisition can be at
best partial if we cannot comprehend how verbs are learned. This volume
enters the relatively uncharted waters of early verb learning, focusing on
the universal, conceptual foundations for verb learning, and how these
foundations intersect with the burgeoning language system.