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English resultative expressions have been a major focus of research on the syntax-semantics interface. We argue in this article that a family of related constructions is required to account for their distribution. We demonstrate that a number of generalizations follow from the semantics of the constructions we posit: the syntactic argument structure of the(More)
This is the first study to investigate experimentally how children come to learn mappings between novel phrasal forms and novel meanings: a central task in learning a language. Two experiments are reported. In both studies 5- to 7-year-old children watched a short set of video clips depicting objects appearing in various ways. Each scene was described using(More)
Whether particular arguments are overtly realized in languages like English is not random. A number of researchers have put forward sweeping generalizations in order to capture certain general tendencies. In this paper, however, it is argued that these analyses underestimate the role of constructions, detailed lexical semantics and discourse factors. Given(More)
An important question in the study of language production is the nature of the semantic information that speakers use to create syntactic structures. A common answer to this question assumes that thematic roles help to mediate the mapping from messages to syntax. However, research using structural priming has suggested that the construction of syntactic(More)
This thesis describes a connectionist model which learns to perceive spatial events and relations in simple movies of 2-dimensional objects, so as to name the events and relations as a speaker of a particular natural language would. Thus, the model learns perceptually grounded semantics for natural language spatial terms. Natural languages diier { sometimes(More)
English 'dative-movement' or 'ditransitive' phenomena are examined within both a non-monotonic approach to Construction Grammar (CG) influenced by Cognitive Linguistics and a monotonic CG approach. It is argued that the latter gives better empirical coverage and is theoretically simpler. Also an account of the argument/adjunct distinction is developed(More)
This book offers a new and in-depth analysis of English conditional sentences. In a wide-ranging discussion, Dancygier classifies conditional constructions according to time-reference and modality. She shows how the basic meaning parameters of conditionality, such as causation and logical sequence, correlate to formal parameters of the linguistic(More)
The present study exposed five-year-olds (M=5 ; 2), seven-year-olds (M=7 ; 6) and adults (M=22 ; 4) to instances of a novel phrasal construction, then used a forced choice comprehension task to evaluate their learning of the construction. The abstractness of participants' acquired representations of the novel construction was evaluated by varying the degree(More)