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German children’s German children’s comprehension of comprehension of reciprocals and reflexives reciprocals and reflexives Insa Gülzow Insa Gülzow Hamburg University Hamburg University

German children’s comprehension of reciprocals and reflexives · 2018. 5. 14. · German reciprocals Sich is ambiguous between a reciprocal and a reflexive reading. Sie rasieren

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Text of German children’s comprehension of reciprocals and reflexives · 2018. 5. 14. · German...

  • German children’s German children’s comprehension of comprehension of reciprocals and reflexivesreciprocals and reflexives

    Insa GülzowInsa Gülzow

    Hamburg UniversityHamburg University

  • German reciprocalsGerman reciprocals

    �� German has two markers of reciprocity, German has two markers of reciprocity, einandereinander and and sichsich..

    Sie küssen einander.Sie küssen einander.‚They are kissing each other‘.‚They are kissing each other‘.

  • German reciprocalsGerman reciprocals

    �� SichSich is ambiguous between a reciprocal and a is ambiguous between a reciprocal and a reflexive reading.reflexive reading.

    Sie rasieren sich.Sie rasieren sich.‚They are shaving each other‘.‚They are shaving each other‘.

    ‚They are shaving themselves‘.‚They are shaving themselves‘.

  • German reflexivesGerman reflexives

    �� With singular subjects however, With singular subjects however, sich sich is a is a marker of nonmarker of non--distinguished agent and distinguished agent and patient.patient.

    Er rasiert sich.Er rasiert sich.‚He is shaving himself‘.‚He is shaving himself‘.

  • German pronounsGerman pronouns

    �� With singular subjects, object pronouns With singular subjects, object pronouns sie/ihn sie/ihn are markers of distinguished agent are markers of distinguished agent and patient.and patient.

    Er rasiert ihn.Er rasiert ihn.‚He is shaving him‘.‚He is shaving him‘.

  • Symmetric predicatesSymmetric predicates

    Symmetry is a semantic property of predicates that Symmetry is a semantic property of predicates that denote typically otherdenote typically other--directed actions.directed actions.

    –– Sarah married / met Paul.Sarah married / met Paul.

    Perfect symmetry can be expressed by encoding of Perfect symmetry can be expressed by encoding of Perfect symmetry can be expressed by encoding of Perfect symmetry can be expressed by encoding of semantic arguments by same grammatical relation.semantic arguments by same grammatical relation.

    –– They married / met / dated. They married / met / dated. Sie heirateten / trafen sich.Sie heirateten / trafen sich.

    Some verbs frequently express symmetry, but do not Some verbs frequently express symmetry, but do not imply symmetry in transitive constructions.imply symmetry in transitive constructions.

    –– They kissed / hugged / touched.They kissed / hugged / touched.–– Sarah kissed / hugged / touched Paul. Sarah kissed / hugged / touched Paul.

    e.g. König & Kokutani 2006, Haspelmath 2007

  • Grooming verbsGrooming verbs

    Some verbs denote typically selfSome verbs denote typically self--directed actions.directed actions.

    –– She washed herself.She washed herself.

    –– The boy dressed himself.The boy dressed himself.

    These verbs may appear without ‚heavy‘ marking.These verbs may appear without ‚heavy‘ marking.

    –– He washed. / Jan waste zich. / He washed. / Jan waste zich. / Er wäscht sich.Er wäscht sich.

    With plural subjects a reflexive interpretation is With plural subjects a reflexive interpretation is obligatory or favoured.obligatory or favoured.

    –– They shave. / They shave. / Sie rasieren sich.Sie rasieren sich.

    e.g. Everaert 1986, König & Vezzosi 2002

  • Lexical and grammatical Lexical and grammatical encodingencoding

    Language reflects different situation types in Language reflects different situation types in lexical and grammatical marking.lexical and grammatical marking.

    –– some predicates are inherently symmetric (or some predicates are inherently symmetric (or inherently reflexive)inherently reflexive)inherently reflexive)inherently reflexive)

    –– with others symmetry can be expressed by the with others symmetry can be expressed by the use of a reciprocal markeruse of a reciprocal marker

    meet marry hug kiss shave washmeet marry hug kiss shave wash

    lexicallexical grammaticalgrammatical

  • Lexical and grammatical Lexical and grammatical encodingencoding

    Situation types discussed as exemplifying Situation types discussed as exemplifying reciprocal situation types are not necessarily reciprocal situation types are not necessarily encoded with reciprocity markers.encoded with reciprocity markers.

    Hurst & Nordlinger 2007Hurst & Nordlinger 2007Hurst & Nordlinger 2007Hurst & Nordlinger 2007

    Reciprocal constructions are […] grammatical Reciprocal constructions are […] grammatical means for expressing (fully) symmetrical means for expressing (fully) symmetrical relations independent of the lexical meaning relations independent of the lexical meaning of a more than one place predicate.of a more than one place predicate.

    König & Vezzosi 2004König & Vezzosi 2004

  • Historical developmentHistorical development

    Reciprocal forms in Germanic:

    „reciprocity fell to the responsibility of „reciprocity fell to the responsibility of the lexicon rather than of grammar“

    Frans Plank 2008

  • HypothesesHypotheses

    � Children understand symmetry as a property of certain events before they understand reciprocals as grammatical markers of symmetrical relations between participants.

    � Children understand distinguished (non-distinguished) participants as a property of certain events before they understand pronouns (reflexives) as grammatical markers of this relation.

  • Reciprocals in language Reciprocals in language acquisitionacquisition

    �� 4;104;10--6;9 (Norwegian) understand6;9 (Norwegian) understand

    reciprocals with two antecedents,reciprocals with two antecedents,

    but fail with morebut fail with more

    �� 4;4 (English) interpret reciprocals target like in some 4;4 (English) interpret reciprocals target like in some casescases

    Philipp 2000, Philipp 2000, Matsu 2000Matsu 2000

  • Chien & Wexler 1990Chien & Wexler 1990

    �� touch / point to / washtouch / point to / wash–– Is Mama bear touching herself?Is Mama bear touching herself?

    –– Is Mama bear touching her?Is Mama bear touching her?

  • Pronouns and reflexives Pronouns and reflexives in language acquisitionin language acquisition

    �� DPBEDPBE

    –– EnglishEnglish

    –– DutchDutch

    pronouns

    �� No DPBENo DPBE

    –– ItalianItalian

    –– FrenchFrench

    –– SpanishSpanish

    –– GermanGerman

    reflexives

  • Interim summary Interim summary reciprocalsreciprocals

    �� Symmetry in events can be expressed by Symmetry in events can be expressed by symmetric predicates and reciprocal symmetric predicates and reciprocal constructions or a combination of both.constructions or a combination of both.

    �� There are two markers of reciprocity in There are two markers of reciprocity in German: German: einandereinander and and sichsich..

  • The first studyThe first study

    �� Comprehension of Comprehension of einandereinander and and sichsich in in sentences with two types of predicatessentences with two types of predicates

    –– frequently symmetrical and otherfrequently symmetrical and other--directeddirected

    kiss / hug / touchkiss / hug / touch

    –– typically selftypically self--directeddirected

    shave / wash / dressshave / wash / dress

  • Study designStudy design

    „Zeig mir, wo sie „Zeig mir, wo sie sichsich rasieren“.rasieren“.

    „Zeig mir, wo sie „Zeig mir, wo sie einandereinander rasieren“.rasieren“.

  • ResultsResults

    Adults (N=13) display a semantic bias with Adults (N=13) display a semantic bias with sichsich. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 7373 77

    hughug 8787 00

    touchtouch 4040 4040

    shaveshave 77 8080

    dressdress 3333 6060

    washwash 1313 6767 other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    Adults (N=13) perform grammatically in line Adults (N=13) perform grammatically in line with reciprocal with reciprocal einandereinander..

    90100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    0102030405060708090

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 100100 00

    hughug 100100 00

    touchtouch 9393 77

    shaveshave 100100 00

    dressdress 9393 77

    washwash 100100 00

    other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    2;52;5--3;6 children (N=21) display a semantic 3;6 children (N=21) display a semantic bias with bias with sichsich. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 9090 1010

    hughug 5757 3333

    touchtouch 6262 1919

    shaveshave 3838 4343

    dressdress 2424 5252

    washwash 3333 3838 other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    4;14;1--4;6 children (N=21) display a semantic 4;6 children (N=21) display a semantic bias with bias with sichsich. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 9696 44

    hughug 6565 3535

    touchtouch 8383 1717

    shaveshave 6161 3939

    dressdress 3939 5757

    washwash 4848 4848 other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    5;15;1--6;0 children (N=21) display a semantic 6;0 children (N=21) display a semantic bias with bias with sichsich. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 100100 00

    hughug 100100 00

    touchtouch 7474 2626

    shaveshave 4747 3535

    dressdress 3737 6363

    washwash 5353 4747 other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    2;52;5--3;6 children (N=21) display a semantic 3;6 children (N=21) display a semantic bias with bias with einandereinander. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 6767 2424

    hughug 6262 1919

    touchtouch 7171 2424

    shaveshave 3333 5757

    dressdress 5252 3838

    washwash 5757 3333 other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    4;14;1--4;6 children (N=21) display a semantic 4;6 children (N=21) display a semantic bias with bias with einandereinander. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 8787 99

    hughug 8787 99

    touchtouch 9696 44

    shaveshave 4848 4848

    dressdress 3030 6565

    washwash 4848 5252 other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    5;15;1--6;0 children (N=21) display a semantic 6;0 children (N=21) display a semantic bias with bias with einandereinander. .

    708090100

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    010203040506070

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    dress

    wash

    %% reciprecip reflrefl

    kisskiss 9595 55

    hughug 9595 55

    touchtouch 7979 2121

    shaveshave 7474 2626

    dressdress 4242 5858

    washwash 6363 3737 other-directed self-directed

  • The second (Pilot) StudyThe second (Pilot) Study

    �� Comprehension of Comprehension of sichsich and and sie/ihnsie/ihn in in sentences with two types of predicatessentences with two types of predicates

    –– frequently symmetrical and otherfrequently symmetrical and other--directeddirected

    kiss / hug / touchkiss / hug / touch

    –– typically selftypically self--directeddirected

    shave / wash / combshave / wash / comb

  • Study designStudy design

    „Zeig mir, wo er sich kämmt“.„Zeig mir, wo er sich kämmt“.

    „Zeig mir, wo er ihn kämmt“.„Zeig mir, wo er ihn kämmt“.

  • ResultsResults

    3;03;0--4;10 (N=17) interpreted sentences with 4;10 (N=17) interpreted sentences with symmetric pedicates and symmetric pedicates and sichsich as referring to as referring to transitive events. transitive events.

    16

    18

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    14

    16

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    comb

    wash

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    kisskiss 1010 66

    hughug 1212 55

    touchtouch 1212 55

    shaveshave 1212 55

    combcomb 88 99

    washwash 66 1111

    other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    5;05;0--8;05 (N=14) still exibit this effect but 8;05 (N=14) still exibit this effect but interpret sentences with interpret sentences with sichsich as reflexive in a as reflexive in a majority of cases. majority of cases.

    14

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    comb

    wash

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    kisskiss 55 99

    hughug 88 66

    touchtouch 44 1010

    shaveshave 44 1010

    combcomb 11 1212

    washwash 33 1111

    other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    3;03;0--4;10, (N=17) highest scores for reflexive 4;10, (N=17) highest scores for reflexive interpretations of interpretations of sie/ihnsie/ihn with typically selfwith typically self--directed predicates. directed predicates.

    16

    18

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    14

    16

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    comb

    wash

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    kisskiss 1313 44

    hughug 1515 22

    touchtouch 1414 33

    shaveshave 1010 66

    combcomb 1010 77

    washwash 1212 55

    other-directed self-directed

  • ResultsResults

    5;05;0--8;05 (N=14) interpret 8;05 (N=14) interpret sie/ihnsie/ihn as referring as referring to transitive events. to transitive events.

    14

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    0

    2

    4

    6

    8

    10

    12

    kiss

    hug

    touch

    shave

    comb

    wash

    %% transtrans reflrefl

    kisskiss 1111 33

    hughug 1313 11

    touchtouch 1313 11

    shaveshave 1313 00

    combcomb 1414 00

    washwash 99 44

    other-directed self-directed

  • SummarySummary

    �� Reciprocals as grammatical means of expressing Reciprocals as grammatical means of expressing symmetry are not fully understood by German symmetry are not fully understood by German children as old as 5;0 (and ignored by younger).children as old as 5;0 (and ignored by younger).

    �� Reflexives seem to be not fully understood by Reflexives seem to be not fully understood by young and older German children in typically otheryoung and older German children in typically other--directed event expressions.directed event expressions.

    �� Object pronouns seem to be not fully understood Object pronouns seem to be not fully understood by young German children in typically selfby young German children in typically self--directed directed event expressions.event expressions.

  • ConclusionConclusion

    �� Event probabilities can override the contribution of Event probabilities can override the contribution of grammatical markers like reciprocals, reflexives and grammatical markers like reciprocals, reflexives and object pronouns.object pronouns.

    –– Interaction between expression and event type before Interaction between expression and event type before –– Interaction between expression and event type before Interaction between expression and event type before adult performance.adult performance.

    –– Chien & Wexler: Chien & Wexler: washwash, , touchtouch, , point topoint to

    �� The grammatical nature of grammatical markers The grammatical nature of grammatical markers emerges at different paces in child language.emerges at different paces in child language.

    –– Object pronouns Object pronouns ihnihn // siesie are understood early (5;0).

    –– Reciprocal Reciprocal einandereinander is understood late (>5;0).is understood late (>5;0).

  • Ambiguous Ambiguous sich sich and DPBEand DPBE

    SichSich appears in relations involving low participant appears in relations involving low participant distinguishability; agents acting on themselves.distinguishability; agents acting on themselves.

    –– Er rasiert sich.Er rasiert sich.–– Sie rasieren sich (selbst).Sie rasieren sich (selbst).–– Sie rasieren sich (selbst).Sie rasieren sich (selbst).

    SichSich also appears in relations involving distinguished also appears in relations involving distinguished participants in the event.participants in the event.

    –– Sie rasieren sich (gegenseitig).Sie rasieren sich (gegenseitig).

    Other languages with no DPBE also have a recip/refl Other languages with no DPBE also have a recip/refl category: Italian, French, Spanish.category: Italian, French, Spanish.