LINGUIST List 24.1345

Tue Mar 19 2013

Books: Seemingly similar: Koring

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <>

Date: 12-Mar-2013
From: Mariëtte Bonenkamp <>
Subject: Seemingly similar: Koring
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Title: Seemingly similarSubtitle: Subjects and displacement in grammar, processing, and acquisitionSeries Title: LOT dissertation Series

Publication Year: 2013Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Book URL:

Author: Loes Koring

Paperback: ISBN: 9789460931062 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 21.23 Comment: only available through internet


The goal of this dissertation is to ascertain the extent to which differenttypes of displacement, as found in raising and unaccusative structures, areproblematic in language acquisition. Syntactically, unaccusative and raisingstructures share the raising of their surface subject from a lower position upto a higher position. But raising verbs differ from unaccusatives in thatraising verbs allow you to talk about realities that differ from your currentone. Both subject displacement and the precise interpretational effectsraising verbs have might cause trouble in acquisition. In order to understandthe course of acquisition, this dissertation looks at two Dutch raising verbsin particular: schijnen and lijken (both ‘seem’). It provides a definition ofthe evidential semantics of these verbs and looks at the effects of theparticular semantics on processing in a self-paced reading experiment. Inaddition, by looking at processing of different types of intransitive verbs,this dissertation teases apart the effects of thematic role and syntacticstructure on processing. To that end, an innovative version of the visualworld experiment is used. The results demonstrate that unaccusative structuresdelay interpretation compared to unergative structures. Furthermore, childrenfrom the age of five already distinguish between unaccusatives andunergatives. Apparently, children from that age are already aware of thedisplaced subject in unaccusative verbs. Raising verbs on the other hand, areacquired at a later point in acquisition. Moreover, depending on the preciseinterpretational effects, differences in the timing of acquisition occur

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): Dutch (nld)

Written In: English (eng)

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