The Semantics of Verbs in the Dissolution and Development of Language Evidence of the dissolution (DL) of verbs was examined in the written logs kept daily for 4 ½ years by a woman (Mrs. W) who suffered from cerebral atrophy of unknown origin. Results were compared with similar analyses of written samples obtained from elementary school children (CWL), from normal adults ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1982
The Semantics of Verbs in the Dissolution and Development of Language
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret Lahey
    Hunter College of the City University of New York
  • Claudette D. Feier
    Douglass College of Rutgers University
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1982
The Semantics of Verbs in the Dissolution and Development of Language
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1982, Vol. 25, 81-95. doi:10.1044/jshr.2501.81
History: Received March 6, 1980 , Accepted December 11, 1980
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1982, Vol. 25, 81-95. doi:10.1044/jshr.2501.81
History: Received March 6, 1980; Accepted December 11, 1980

Evidence of the dissolution (DL) of verbs was examined in the written logs kept daily for 4 ½ years by a woman (Mrs. W) who suffered from cerebral atrophy of unknown origin. Results were compared with similar analyses of written samples obtained from elementary school children (CWL), from normal adults (AWL) and from the literature on early oral language development (COL). The major finding of this study was that the sequence of the dissolution of verbs, in terms of the meanings expressed, mirrored the sequence of early acquisition. In the DL data reported here, Mrs. W continued to write about dynamic events after she ceased writing about stative events; in COL, children talk about dynamic events before stative events. Based on the AWL and CWL data, frequency of use is rejected as an explanation for the dominance and stability of dynamic relations in DL. Rather, it is suggested that the expression of dynamic relations may be less complex than the expression of stative relations due to possible differences in imagery and implication, but particularly due to the linguistic contexts in which each can be expressed.

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