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Action Meets Word – How children learn verbs - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Action Meets Word: How children learn verbs

Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta M. Golinkoff


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 ... More

Keywords: language acquisition, vocabulary growth, word learning, object nouns, verbs, adjectives, early verb learning

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195170009
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170009.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kathryn A. Hirsh-Pasek, author
Temple University

Roberta M. Golinkoff, author
University of Delaware

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Part I Prerequisites to Verb Learning: Finding the Verb

Part II Prerequisites to Verb Learning: Finding Actions in Events

Part III When Action Meets Word: Children Learn Their First Verbs

Part IV How Language Influences Verb Learning: Cross-Linguistic Evidence