Nouns, Adjectives, and the Acquisition of Meaning: New Evidence from Italian-Acquiring Children

Sandra R Waxman, Maria Teresa Guasti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Across languages, there is a tight coupling between nouns and object categories, but the coupling between adjectives and object properties reveals more variation. Previous work has established that the link between nouns and object categories is evident in preschool-aged children acquiring English, French, or Spanish but has revealed differences in how these children acquire adjectives across these languages. We pursue this work, adding new evidence from Italian-acquiring children and offering insights toward developing a fuller linguistic analysis of the phenomenon. We argue that there are strong universals in the treatment of adjectives across languages, but that there are also subtle cross-linguistic differences in adjectives that have developmental consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-68
JournalLanguage Learning and Development
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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