Argument structure: Relationships between theory and acquisition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter brings together perspectives from theoretical linguistics and from language acquisition research to ask how these mutually inform each other with respect to the question of how argument structure knowledge is represented in the mind. Three theories of argument structure representation are considered: Lexical Projectionism, Compositional Non–projectionism, and Construction Grammar, and their relationships to our understanding of child language development are explored. Though several apparent points of contact between these literatures are considered, I conclude that, largely, the acquisition data do not clearly support any one of the argument structure architectures. Nevertheless, I point out some promising directions for future experimental research with children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCognitive Science Perspectives on Verb Representation and Processing
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783319101125
ISBN (Print)9783319101118
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Argument structure
  • Child language
  • Construction grammar
  • Language acquisition
  • Language development
  • Lexical projectionism
  • Neo-constructionist
  • Non-projectionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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