Acquisition of Ditransitive Verbs in Turkish
In the acquisition of first
language, among different word types “verbs” seems to be more challenging
because of both the cognitive and linguistic constraints that they require.
However, as Naigles & Hoff-Ginsberg (1998: 95) point out the effect of
syntactic diversity in addition to frequency and positional salience leads to
syntactic bootsrapping, which help children to acquire the meanings of new
verbs. Thus, as children start using verbs in different combinations, they
start to be aware of the abstract notions verbs denote and learn more new
verbs. within this framework children also acquire syntactic and semantic
properties of these verbs such as the number of arguments a verb requires and
whether the language in question allow argument ellipses.
The aim of this study is to
investigate how children acquire ditransitive verbs in Turkish. For this
purpose, spontaneous speech data collected from 10 children between the ages of
1;4 and 3;6 and their mothers has been analysed both quantitatively and
qualitatively. Six ditransitive verbs
have been chosen for analysis. The results show that among the six verbs
investigated, koy- (put) and ver- ‘give’ have been used more often
than the other verbs by the children from the younger group. In the older
group, in addition to the six verbs present in the vocabulary of younger
children, new verbs have also appeared.
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