This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
Causative change-of-state verbs like 'to open', 'to fill', and 'to wake' are central to both recent theories of grammatical development and theories of lexical structure. This book focuses on how German-speaking children learn the meaning of change-of-state verbs. It offers a thorough characterization of the acquisition of German, embedded in a crosslinguistic perspective. The author provides a comprehensive review of the acquisition literature on that topic and introduces a new account as to how the meaning of these verbs can be learned. The empirical backbone of the investigation are a set of carefully designed experimental studies.