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Title: Simulating the temporal reference of Dutch and English Root Infinitives.
Authors: Freudenthal, D
Pine, J M
Gobet, F
Keywords: Root Infinitives;modal;temporal reference;Dutch;English;German;MOSAIC;Child Directed Speech
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Cognitive Science Society
Citation: Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2004). Simulating the temporal reference of Dutch and English Root Infinitives. Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 410-415). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Abstract: Hoekstra & Hyams (1998) claim that the overwhelming majority of Dutch children’s Root Infinitives (RIs) are used to refer to modal (not realised) events, whereas in English speaking children, the temporal reference of RIs is free. Hoekstra & Hyams attribute this difference to qualitative differences in how temporal reference is carried by the Dutch infinitive and the English bare form. Ingram & Thompson (1996) advocate an input-driven account of this difference and suggest that the modal reading of German (and Dutch) RIs is caused by the fact that infinitive forms are predominantly used in modal contexts. This paper investigates whether an input-driven account can explain the differential reading of RIs in Dutch and English. To this end, corpora of English and Dutch Child Directed Speech were fed through MOSAIC, a computational model that has already been used to simulate the basic Optional Infinitive phenomenon. Infinitive forms in the input were tagged for modal or non-modal reference based on the sentential context in which they appeared. The output of the model was compared to the results of corpus studies and recent experimental data which call into question the strict distinction between Dutch and English advocated by Hoekstra & Hyams.
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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