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Constructions in Acquisition cover

Constructions in Acquisition

edited by Barbara Kelly and Eve V. Clark

Construction grammar offers a new framework in which to consider the consistent patterns for combining words and phrases within a language. Yet what counts as a construction as a child acquires language? How do children identify constructions? How are constructions linked to the acquisition of words and word meanings?

The study of these questions has progressed to the point where this collection of recent results is both timely and coherent. This volume covers a broad range of research on construction acquisition by children, from the earliest rudimentary gesture combinations to the production of larger syntactic constructions and complex clauses. Included are studies from a variety of languages such as Cantonese, English, French, German, Mandarin, Thai, and Tzeltal, presented by noted scholars in the field of construction grammar.

Barbara Kelly is assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Eve V. Clark is professor of linguistics at Stanford University.


  • Contributors vii
  • 1 Constructions and Acquisition 1 Eve V. Clark & Barbara F. Kelly
  • 2 The Development of Constructions Through Early Gesture Use 15 Barbara F. Kelly
  • 3 How Gesture Helps Children Construct Language 31 Seyda Özçalişkan & Susan Goldin-Meadow
  • 4 Frequent Frames: Simple Co-occurrence Constructions and Their Links to Linguistic Structure 59 Toben H. Mintz
  • 5 Producing Multiword Utterances 83 Elena Lieven
  • 6 The Acquisition of Verb Compounding in Mandarin 111 Jidong Chen
  • 7 From Holophrases to Abstract Grammatical Constructions: Insights from Simulation Studies 137 Peter F. Dominey
  • 8 Interim Solutions: The Acquisition of Early Verb Constructions in Hindi 163 Nancy Budwig, Bhuvana Narasimhan & Smita Srivastava
  • 9 Learning Argument Structure Constructions 185 Adele E. Goldberg & Devin Casenhiser
  • 10 Causative Alternation Errors as Event-Driven Construction Paradigm Completions 205 Jean-Philippe Marcotte
  • 11 Caused Motion Constructions and Semantic Generality in Early Acquisition of French 233 Florence Chenu & Harriet Jisa
  • 12 Interactions in the Development of Constructions and the Acquisition of Word Meanings 263 Judith C. Goodman & Nitya Sethuraman
  • 13 Building Questions in Cantonese 283 Stephanie F. Stokes & Anita M.-Y. Wong
  • 14 The Acquisition of Complement Clause Constructions 311 Evan Kidd
  • Name Index 333
  • Topic Index 341


ISBN (Paperback): 1575864983 (9781575864983)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575864975 (9781575864976)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575869071 (9781575869070)

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