Using developmental modeling to specify learning and representation of the passive in English children


Emma Nguyen
UConn Linguistics
Complete knowledge of the passive takes significant time to develop in English children. Building on prior work identifying the importance of lexical factors for this process, we specify a Bayesian learning model that can capture experimentally-observed passivization behavior in five-year-olds, given child-directed speech to learn from. Through this developmental model, we identify (i) how English children may be integrating lexical feature information, and (ii) how costly they may view the passive structure to be.


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