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Volume 47, Issue 5 (Jan 2009)


I'll never grow up: continuity in aspect representations

Laura Wagner
  • Corresponding author
  • Ohio State University
Published Online: 2009-09-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2009.037


Children's early production typically favors prototypical groupings of temporal-aspectual features; children prefer to say telic, perfective, past combinations (e.g., broke) and atelic, imperfective present combinations (e.g., riding). The current experiments examine the extent to which adults also favor these prototypical groups in a comprehension task (Experiment 1) and a sentence comparison task (Experiment 2). The results show that, like children, adults find prototypical combinations easier to understand, particularly in low-information contexts. Moreover, adults judge prototypical combinations as better sentences than nonprototypical sentences. The results are argued to support continuity in aspectual representations. The differences between children and adults is linked to the proposed origin of the prototypes themselves, namely, information processing demands.

About the article

Department of Psychology, 1835 Neil Avenue, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail:

Received: 2006-03-07

Revised: 2006-11-10

Published Online: 2009-09-15

Published in Print: 2009-09-01

Citation Information: Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LING.2009.037. Export Citation

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