A Usage-Based Approach to Early   Syntactic Development Michael Tomasello Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolo...
Wanna ride horsie <ul><li>Infinitival Complement </li></ul><ul><li>(deleted subject) </li></ul><ul><li>Wanna  X </li></ul>...
Verb Island Constructions at About 2 Years of Age __falldown __kick __ __give __ __ __ running --- breaks Throw__
“ YOU CANT GET THERE FROM HERE“ There  = Formal Grammar Here  = Item-Based Constructions
<ul><li>Usage-Based Models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive Grammar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction Grammar </li></...
Two Questions <ul><li>The nature of children’s linguistic representations </li></ul><ul><li>The processes by which these r...
THE NATURE OF EARLY LINGUISTIC REPRESENTATIONS
MARATSOS (1987) [5 year olds +] Adult Model Always Intransitive: It fudded. The dough won‘t fud. The dough is fudding in t...
TOMASELLO & BROOKS Cognitive Linguistics (1998 ) Adult Model Always Intransitive: It fudded. The dough won‘t fud. The doug...
BROOKS & TOMASELLO Developmental Psychology (1999) Adult Model Always Passive: It’s being floosed by the horsie. It‘s bein...
Figure 1. Percentage of children that produce transitive utterances using novel  verbs in different studies.  (TOMASELLO, ...
CHILDREN ARE PRODUCTIVE WITH NOVEL NOUNS Tomasello & Olguin (1993)  Cognitive Development Tomasello et al. (1997)  Journal...
Akhtar (1999) & Abbot-Smith et al. (2001) Weird Word Order <ul><li>English-speaking children hear utterances with “weird w...
AKHTAR (1999) & ABBOT-SMITH et al. (2001) Percentage of mean number of utterances which were mismatches, as a function of ...
COMPREHENSION TESTS BRING NO IMPROVEMENT Akhtar & Tomasello (1997)  Developmental   Psychology Traditional Test: Model: “L...
PREFERENTIAL LOOKING Naigles (1990), Fisher (2000) “ Cookie Monster’s glorping Big Bird”
Savage, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) Structural Priming <ul><li>3-, 4-, and 6-Year-Old Children </li></ul><ul><li>Pictu...
PASSIVE RESPONSES as a function of prime type Active Primes Passive Primes
Summary: All Methods Indicate Item-Based Organization <ul><li>Spontaneous Speech (+diary) </li></ul><ul><li>Production Exp...
Linguistic Representations <ul><li>Token Frequency entrenches concrete part of construction </li></ul><ul><li>Type Frequen...
PROCESSES OF MAKING AND CONSTRAINING SYNTACTIC ABSTRACTIONS
Main Processes <ul><li>Imitative Learning  </li></ul><ul><li>Abstraction: analogy (distributional analysis) </li></ul><ul>...
Cameron-Faulkner, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) What’s .18 Where’s .05 What’re .09 Where’re .02 What do .05 Where shall ...
5/ 20% 9/ 38% 20/ 67% 6/ 53% 8/ 77% 4/38% How Item-Based is Mother’s Speech to Children? Cameron-Faulkner, Lieven, & Tomas...
Input:  “Can he eat_ it?” “ Shall he eat_ it?” “ Does he eat_ it?” “ Where will he eat_ it?” Child: “He eat_ it” “ Imitati...
Theakston, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) - number of children (n = 24 in each)
Schematization The dog  eats  the bone. The cat  the fish. A bird  a ladybug. This one  that one. Two pin  two dogs. Analo...
 
Childers & Tomasello (2001)  Developmental Psychology <ul><li>Children at 2:6 hear several hundred transitive utterances o...
Number of children in each condition (out of 10) who produced at least one productive utterance with at least one nonce ve...
He’s push ing  it. He’s kill He’s pull He’s show He’s draw He’s deed
TRANSITIVITY OVERGENERALIZATIONS FROM BOWERMAN <ul><li>Mommy, can you stay this open? </li></ul><ul><li>I come closer so i...
PROPOSED MECHANISMS FOR HOW  CHILDREN CONSTRAIN CONSTRUCTIONS <ul><li>ENTRENCHMENT:   Repeated use makes other uses sound ...
BROOKS, TOMASELLO, LEWIS, & DODSON Child Development (1999), Entrenchment Study Fixed Transitivity Verbs More Entrenched L...
Brooks & Tomasello ( Language,  1999) Alternatives Study Nonce verbs Semantic subclasses - Some verbs from class that alte...
Three constraining factors working over developmental time. Entrenchment Preemption Verb Subclasses Growing abstractness o...
CHILDREN’S PRODUCTION: Usage-Based Syntactic Operations
LIEVEN, BEHRENS, SPEARES, & TOMASELLO (in press) General <ul><li>One English-Speaking girl, 24 months </li></ul><ul><li>On...
Total Utterances  =  537 Novel  =  21% Multi-Word  =  295 Novel =  37% One Operation = 74% Subst. = 84% Add  = 15% Drop  =...
Where’s the bus Where’s the  mega-blocks Where’s the  baby Where’s the  plate Where’s the  _____ 50x + Bertie  bus Bertie ...
Put a bit more here Put  cup  here Put  some more  here Put  it  here Put  some more here Put  it  here Put  the apple her...
Mommy’s toast not ready ___  not ready Mommy’s ___ Dinner’s   not ready It’s not ready Is@ not ready  (2x) Not ready  (5x)...
COMPLEX CONSTRUCTIONS
DEVELOPMENT OF S-COMPLEMENTS Diessel & Tomasello,  Cognitive Linguistics  (2001) Subjects: Adam, Eve, Sarah, Naomi, Peter,...
% Subjects in Complex Ss 1-P 2-P 3-P Lex Imp Guess 100 -- -- -- -- Bet 100 -- -- -- -- Mean 52 48 -- -- -- Know 36 55 05 0...
Development of Matrix Clauses Diessel & Tomasello,  Cognitive Linguistics  (2001)
DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIVE CLAUSES Diessel & Tomasello,  Cognitive Linguistics  (2000) - Subjects: 4 CHILDES children from 1;...
Earliest All NP ONLY: “ The girl that came with us” .05 .19 PRESENTATIONALS “ This is the car that turns around” .75 .47 O...
CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>Imitative Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Schematization & Analogy </li></ul><ul><li>Entrenchment & Preempt...
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  1. 1. A Usage-Based Approach to Early Syntactic Development Michael Tomasello Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig, Germany Elena Lieven Kirsten Abbot-Smith Heike Behrens Thea Cameron-Faulkner Holger Diessel Ceri Savage Angelika Wittek Kai Kiekhöfer Sabine Stoll Robert Maslen Nenagh Kemp Ben Ambridge Stefanie Brosda
  2. 2. Wanna ride horsie <ul><li>Infinitival Complement </li></ul><ul><li>(deleted subject) </li></ul><ul><li>Wanna X </li></ul><ul><li>Wanna ride X </li></ul><ul><li>Holophrase </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Verb Island Constructions at About 2 Years of Age __falldown __kick __ __give __ __ __ running --- breaks Throw__
  4. 4. “ YOU CANT GET THERE FROM HERE“ There = Formal Grammar Here = Item-Based Constructions
  5. 5. <ul><li>Usage-Based Models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive Grammar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction Grammar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grammaticalization Theory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intention-Reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pattern-Finding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Statistical/Distributional An. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analogy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Constraints </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Two Questions <ul><li>The nature of children’s linguistic representations </li></ul><ul><li>The processes by which these representations change over developmental time </li></ul>
  7. 7. THE NATURE OF EARLY LINGUISTIC REPRESENTATIONS
  8. 8. MARATSOS (1987) [5 year olds +] Adult Model Always Intransitive: It fudded. The dough won‘t fud. The dough is fudding in the machine. Transitive Biasing Question: What are you doing (to the dough)? [encouraging: I‘m fudding it ] PINKER ET AL. (1987) [4-5 year olds] Adult Model Always Passive: It’s being floosed by the horsie. It‘s being floosed. Active Biasing Question: What‘s the horsie doing (to it)? [encouraging: He‘s floosing it. ]
  9. 9. TOMASELLO & BROOKS Cognitive Linguistics (1998 ) Adult Model Always Intransitive: It fudded. The dough won‘t fud. The dough‘s fudding in the machine. Transitive Biasing Question: What are you doing (to the dough)? [encouraging: I‘m fudding it ] Results 4 out of 32 two-year-old children (12.5%) produced a transitive SVO utterance
  10. 10. BROOKS & TOMASELLO Developmental Psychology (1999) Adult Model Always Passive: It’s being floosed by the horsie. It‘s being floosed. Active Biasing Question: What‘s the horsie doing (to it)? [encouraging: He‘s floosing it ] Results 12 out of 48 three-year-old children (25%) produced a transitive SVO utterance
  11. 11. Figure 1. Percentage of children that produce transitive utterances using novel verbs in different studies. (TOMASELLO, Cognition , 2000)
  12. 12. CHILDREN ARE PRODUCTIVE WITH NOVEL NOUNS Tomasello & Olguin (1993) Cognitive Development Tomasello et al. (1997) Journal of Child Language Model: “Look, a wug! A wug!“ Result: Almost all 22-month-old children say : “ More wug”, “Kiss wug”, “Wug gone”, etc. CHILDREN USE NOVEL VERBS TRANSITIVELY WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD THEM USED THAT WAY Tomasello & Brooks (1998) Cognitive Linguistics Brooks and Tomasello (1999) Developmental Psychology Model: “The boy’s meeking the stick!“ Result: Almost all 2-year-old children say : “ The cow’s meeking the fence”
  13. 13. Akhtar (1999) & Abbot-Smith et al. (2001) Weird Word Order <ul><li>English-speaking children hear utterances with “weird word order” (familiar and unfamiliar verbs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The cow the horse is meeking/pushing” (SOV) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are encouraged to use these same verbs with new characters engaging in these same actions </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. AKHTAR (1999) & ABBOT-SMITH et al. (2001) Percentage of mean number of utterances which were mismatches, as a function of condition and age group
  15. 15. COMPREHENSION TESTS BRING NO IMPROVEMENT Akhtar & Tomasello (1997) Developmental Psychology Traditional Test: Model: “Look, tamming! This is called tamming!“ Test: “Show me: the dog‘s tamming the car!“ Result: Very few children at 2;9 act out the utterance in canonical fashion. Modified Test: Model: “Look at this fun game!“ Test: “Show me: the pig‘s tamming the horse!“ Result: Very few children at 2;9 act out the utterance in canonical fashion.
  16. 16. PREFERENTIAL LOOKING Naigles (1990), Fisher (2000) “ Cookie Monster’s glorping Big Bird”
  17. 17. Savage, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) Structural Priming <ul><li>3-, 4-, and 6-Year-Old Children </li></ul><ul><li>Pictures that could be described with actives or passives </li></ul><ul><li>Four Conditions (5 Items per Condition): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Active- Passive Prime </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lo-Hi Overlap </li></ul></ul></ul>Hi Overlap(Active) = “ It VERB ed it ” Lo Overlap (Active) = “A truck VERBxx the car”
  18. 18. PASSIVE RESPONSES as a function of prime type Active Primes Passive Primes
  19. 19. Summary: All Methods Indicate Item-Based Organization <ul><li>Spontaneous Speech (+diary) </li></ul><ul><li>Production Experiments (nonce verbs) </li></ul><ul><li>Weird Word Order Studies(nonce verbs) </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehension Experiments (nonce verbs) </li></ul><ul><li>Priming Study (English verbs) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Linguistic Representations <ul><li>Token Frequency entrenches concrete part of construction </li></ul><ul><li>Type Frequency creates abstractions </li></ul>Linguistic representations thus become “stronger” and more abstract with increasing linguistic experience
  21. 21. PROCESSES OF MAKING AND CONSTRAINING SYNTACTIC ABSTRACTIONS
  22. 22. Main Processes <ul><li>Imitative Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Abstraction: analogy (distributional analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>Constraint: entrenchment, preemption </li></ul>
  23. 23. Cameron-Faulkner, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) What’s .18 Where’s .05 What’re .09 Where’re .02 What do .05 Where shall .01 What did .04 What has .03 Who’s .08 What about .03 Who did .01 What shall .02 What can .02 Which one .02 What does .02 What hppnd .01 Why don’t .01 What were .01 What kind of .01 How many .01 31 frames => 80% of Wh Qs 13 frames => 65% of Wh Qs
  24. 24. 5/ 20% 9/ 38% 20/ 67% 6/ 53% 8/ 77% 4/38% How Item-Based is Mother’s Speech to Children? Cameron-Faulkner, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) <ul><li>51% from 52 frames </li></ul><ul><li>45% start w/ one </li></ul><ul><li>of 17 words </li></ul>
  25. 25. Input: “Can he eat_ it?” “ Shall he eat_ it?” “ Does he eat_ it?” “ Where will he eat_ it?” Child: “He eat_ it” “ Imitation” Leading to Errors
  26. 26. Theakston, Lieven, & Tomasello (submitted) - number of children (n = 24 in each)
  27. 27. Schematization The dog eats the bone. The cat the fish. A bird a ladybug. This one that one. Two pin two dogs. Analogy The dog eats the bone. The cat catches the fish. A bird found a ladybug. This one wants that one. Two pin onto two dogs.
  28. 29. Childers & Tomasello (2001) Developmental Psychology <ul><li>Children at 2:6 hear several hundred transitive utterances over </li></ul><ul><li>4 days/sessions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Either familiar or unfamiliar English verbs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With either nouns only in slots or nouns & pronouns (consistent) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test is traditional nonce verb learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>child hears nonce verb as intransitive or passive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and must produce in transitive </li></ul>
  29. 30. Number of children in each condition (out of 10) who produced at least one productive utterance with at least one nonce verb during testing 20% = same as in previous studies
  30. 31. He’s push ing it. He’s kill He’s pull He’s show He’s draw He’s deed
  31. 32. TRANSITIVITY OVERGENERALIZATIONS FROM BOWERMAN <ul><li>Mommy, can you stay this open? </li></ul><ul><li>I come closer so it won‘t fall. </li></ul><ul><li>Don‘t giggle me. </li></ul><ul><li>She came it over there. </li></ul><ul><li>I want to stay this rubber band on. </li></ul><ul><li>Eva won‘t stay things where I want them to be. </li></ul><ul><li>You cried her. </li></ul><ul><li>Will you climb me up there? </li></ul><ul><li>„ Kannst Du mich hochklettern?“ </li></ul>
  32. 33. PROPOSED MECHANISMS FOR HOW CHILDREN CONSTRAIN CONSTRUCTIONS <ul><li>ENTRENCHMENT: Repeated use makes other uses sound unconventional </li></ul><ul><li>Child hears “X hit Y“ many times, but never “Y hit“ </li></ul><ul><li>PRE-EMPTION: Alternative forms block the extension of a verb to a construction </li></ul><ul><li>Child watches as adult tickles sibling. </li></ul><ul><li>Sibling says: “I can’t stop laughing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Child now expects sibling to say: “Don’t laugh me”. </li></ul><ul><li>Sibling says: “Don’t make me laugh.” </li></ul><ul><li>ANALOGIES: Semantic subclasses of verbs </li></ul><ul><li>Child learns verb for “causing direct motion” ( remove ) </li></ul><ul><li>Child assumes it behaves like other verbs of the same type, i.e., as fixed transitive (e.g. bring, take, etc.) </li></ul>
  33. 34. BROOKS, TOMASELLO, LEWIS, & DODSON Child Development (1999), Entrenchment Study Fixed Transitivity Verbs More Entrenched Less Entrenched Hit Strike Take Remove Come Arrive Disappear Vanish Method Children (3-8 yrs.) see transitive event and then are asked “mismatching” question - “What happened with PATIENT?” - “What did AGENT do?” Results More entrenched verbs overgeneralized less often
  34. 35. Brooks & Tomasello ( Language, 1999) Alternatives Study Nonce verbs Semantic subclasses - Some verbs from class that alternates - Some verbs of fixed transitivity Preempting alternatives - Some children hear alternative that could be used to answer mismatching question (e.g. perphrastic causative) - Some children hear no alternatives Methods <ul><li>Children (2.5 - 6.5) learn verb in one construction (e.g., intransitive) </li></ul><ul><li>Children are asked “mismatching” Q </li></ul>Results Both factors are effective, but only from 4.5 years
  35. 36. Three constraining factors working over developmental time. Entrenchment Preemption Verb Subclasses Growing abstractness of the transitive construction Giggle Chortle Laugh Many overgeneralizations b/c not entrenched No overgeneralizations b/c Verb Islands Low overgeneralzations b/c preemtion and verb subclasses in addition to entrenchment
  36. 37. CHILDREN’S PRODUCTION: Usage-Based Syntactic Operations
  37. 38. LIEVEN, BEHRENS, SPEARES, & TOMASELLO (in press) General <ul><li>One English-Speaking girl, 24 months </li></ul><ul><li>One hour tape, 5 days per week, 6 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Maternal diary 7 days per week, 6 weeks [focus on “new” utterances] </li></ul>This study <ul><li>Last hour-long tape = 527 utterances (295 multi-word) </li></ul><ul><li>Search for precursors on 6 weeks previous </li></ul>
  38. 39. Total Utterances = 537 Novel = 21% Multi-Word = 295 Novel = 37% One Operation = 74% Subst. = 84% Add = 15% Drop = 1% Multiple Op = 26% OVERALL ANALYSIS
  39. 40. Where’s the bus Where’s the mega-blocks Where’s the baby Where’s the plate Where’s the _____ 50x + Bertie bus Bertie @ bus bus
  40. 41. Put a bit more here Put cup here Put some more here Put it here Put some more here Put it here Put the apple here Put some here (3x) Put it here (10x) Put ____ here a bit more A bit more here A bit more milk A bit more (2x) Want a bit more
  41. 42. Mommy’s toast not ready ___ not ready Mommy’s ___ Dinner’s not ready It’s not ready Is@ not ready (2x) Not ready (5x) 50x+ My toast 2x
  42. 43. COMPLEX CONSTRUCTIONS
  43. 44. DEVELOPMENT OF S-COMPLEMENTS Diessel & Tomasello, Cognitive Linguistics (2001) Subjects: Adam, Eve, Sarah, Naomi, Peter, Nina - 1 to 5 years Complex Ss: 2807 tokens Examples from Sarah: Examples from Nina: I think he’s gone See that monkey crying I think it’s in here See Becca sleeping I think my daddy took it See that go I think I saw one See my hands are washed it’s a crazy bone, I think See he bites me I think dis is de bowl See him lie down
  44. 45. % Subjects in Complex Ss 1-P 2-P 3-P Lex Imp Guess 100 -- -- -- -- Bet 100 -- -- -- -- Mean 52 48 -- -- -- Know 36 55 05 04 -- Think 85 13 02 -- -- Wish 97 -- -- 03 -- Hope 88 12 -- -- -- See 07 01 01 -- 91 Look -- -- -- -- 100 Watch -- -- 11 -- 89 Remember 6 6 -- -- 88 - Virtually no complementizers - Virtually no non-present tenses - Virtually no modals or negations Diessel & Tomasello, Cognitive Linguistics (2001)
  45. 46. Development of Matrix Clauses Diessel & Tomasello, Cognitive Linguistics (2001)
  46. 47. DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIVE CLAUSES Diessel & Tomasello, Cognitive Linguistics (2000) - Subjects: 4 CHILDES children from 1;9 to 5;1 - Total of 324 relative clauses Here’s the toy that goes around. That’s the sugar that fell out. There’s the ball I bought This’s the bird that sings. That’s the one that goes moo. Here’s the boy that ran into the water.
  47. 48. Earliest All NP ONLY: “ The girl that came with us” .05 .19 PRESENTATIONALS “ This is the car that turns around” .75 .47 OBLIQUES “ I’m going to the zoo that has snakes” 0 .06 OBJECT “ She has a bathtub that goes with it” .20* .26 SUBJECT “ The one that not finished is up there” 0 .01 * 50% of these = “Look at all the chairs Peter’s got” Diessel & Tomasello, Cognitive Linguistics (2000)
  48. 49. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>Imitative Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Schematization & Analogy </li></ul><ul><li>Entrenchment & Preemption </li></ul><ul><li>Distributional Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Usage-Based Syntactic Operations </li></ul>
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