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dc.contributor.advisorHirsh-Pasek, Kathy
dc.creatorGeorge, Nathan R.
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-04T15:19:46Z
dc.date.available2020-11-04T15:19:46Z
dc.date.issued2014
dc.identifier.other890207870
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2905
dc.description.abstractVerbs and prepositions encode relations within events, such as a child running towards the top of a hill or a second child pushing the first away from the top. These relational terms present significant challenges in language acquisition, requiring the mapping of the categorical system of language onto the continuous stream of information in events. This challenge is magnified when considering the complexities of events themselves. Events consist of part-whole relations, or partonomic hierarchies, in which events defined by smaller boundaries, such as the child running up the hill, can be integrated into broader categories, such as the second child preventing the first from reaching the top (Zacks & Tversky, 2001). This dissertation addresses how this partonomic hierarchy in events is paralleled in the structure of relational language. I examine the semantic category of force dynamics, or "how entities interact with respect to force" (Talmy, 1988, p. 49), which introduces broad categories (e.g., help, prevent) that incorporate previously independent relations in events, such as paths, goals, and causality. Two studies ask how children and adults navigate the tension between fine and broad categories in their nonlinguistic representations of force and motion events and whether language - in the form of both labels and syntactic cues - helps children to integrate previously independent relations into these higher order constructs. Participants completed a novel task designed to assess the saliency of force dynamics relations across events. Participants viewed an animated event depicting a force dynamics relation (e.g., prevent, cause) and were asked to identify which of two perceptually varied events (i.e., different characters and setting) depicted the same relation. Study One extends previous research, showing that adults encode force dynamics relations in nonlinguistic contexts. Study Two examined these representations in 4-year-olds, both with and without linguistic cues. Absent linguistic cues, children showed no evidence of encoding force dynamics; however, the presence of language highlighted these relations, improving children's attention to these broader categories in events. The results are the first to explore the problem of hierarchies in relational language and demonstrate a novel role for language in drawing children's attention to the presence of relations between relations.
dc.format.extent110 pages
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherTemple University. Libraries
dc.relation.ispartofTheses and Dissertations
dc.rightsIN COPYRIGHT- This Rights Statement can be used for an Item that is in copyright. Using this statement implies that the organization making this Item available has determined that the Item is in copyright and either is the rights-holder, has obtained permission from the rights-holder(s) to make their Work(s) available, or makes the Item available under an exception or limitation to copyright (including Fair Use) that entitles it to make the Item available.
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
dc.subjectPsychology, Developmental
dc.subjectPsychology, Cognitive
dc.subjectLanguage
dc.subjectCognitive Semantics
dc.subjectEvent Processing
dc.subjectForce Dynamics
dc.subjectLanguage Development
dc.subjectVerb Learning
dc.titleThe Force of Language: How Children Acquire the Semantic Categories of Force Dynamics
dc.typeText
dc.type.genreThesis/Dissertation
dc.contributor.committeememberNewcombe, Nora
dc.contributor.committeememberMarshall, Peter J.
dc.contributor.committeememberGolinkoff, Roberta M.
dc.contributor.committeememberShipley, Thomas F.
dc.contributor.committeememberWolff, Phillip M.
dc.description.departmentPsychology
dc.relation.doihttp://dx.doi.org/10.34944/dspace/2887
dc.ada.noteFor Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, including help with reading this content, please contact scholarshare@temple.edu
dc.description.degreePh.D.
refterms.dateFOA2020-11-04T15:19:46Z


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