This book offers a unique interdisciplinary perspective on argument structure and its role in language acquisition. Drawing on a broad range of crosslinguistic data, this volume shows that languages are much more diverse in their argument structure properties than has been realized.
The volume is the outcome of an integrated research project and comprises chapters by both specialists in first language acquisition and field linguists working on a variety of lesser-known languages. The research draws on original fieldwork and on adult data, child data, or both from seventeen languages from eleven different language families. Some chapters offer typological perspectives, examining the basic structures of a given language with language-learnability issues in mind. Other chapters investigate specific problems of language acquisition in one or more languages. Taken as a whole, the volume illustrates how detailed work on crosslinguistic variation is critical to the development of insightful theories of language acquisition.
Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure integrates important contemporary issues in linguistics and language acquisition.
I. Verb Meaning and Verb Syntax: Crosslinguistic Puzzlse for Language Learners II. Participants Present and Absent: Argument Ellipsis and Verb Learning III. Transitivity, Intransitivity, and Their Associated Meanings: A Complex Work-Space for Learnability