Evidence for (shared) abstract structure underlying children’s short and full passives

Katherine Messenger, Holly P. Branigan, Janet F. McLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a syntactic priming paradigm, three- and four-year-old children and adults described transitive events after hearing thematically and lexically unrelated active and short passive prime descriptions. Both groups were more likely to produce full passive descriptions (the king is being scratched by the tiger) following short passive primes (the girls are being shocked) than active primes (the sheep is shocking the girl). These results suggest that by four, children have (shared) abstract syntactic representations for both short and full passives, contrary to previous proposals (e.g., Horgan, 1978).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-274
Number of pages7
JournalCognition
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

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Tigers
Hearing
evidence
Sheep
paradigm
event
Group
Paradigm
Syntax
Syntactic Priming
Transitive

Cite this

Messenger, Katherine ; Branigan, Holly P. ; McLean, Janet F. / Evidence for (shared) abstract structure underlying children’s short and full passives. In: Cognition. 2011 ; Vol. 121, No. 2. pp. 268-274.
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Evidence for (shared) abstract structure underlying children’s short and full passives. / Messenger, Katherine; Branigan, Holly P.; McLean, Janet F.

In: Cognition, Vol. 121, No. 2, 11.2011, p. 268-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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