Why Verbs Are Hard to Learn

Dedre Gentner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


This chapter argues that words connect to the world in very different ways, that (concrete) nouns do so more transparently than verbs, and that verb meanings are more linguistically shaped than (concrete) noun meanings. Although many factors at all levels contribute to determining what is learned early by children, these semantic-conceptual factors are certainly among the core influences on how words connect to the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAction Meets Word
Subtitle of host publicationHow Children Learn Verbs
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199893300
ISBN (Print)0195170008, 9780195170009
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Noun meanings
  • Nouns
  • Verb meanings
  • Verbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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