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Taheri Oskouei M, Nematzadeh S. Research Paper: Development of the Semantic Aspect of Verbs in a Persian-Speaking Child: A Longitudinal Study. jrehab. 2016; 17 (2) :106-117
URL: http://rehabilitationj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-1593-en.html
1- lecturer Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Foreign Language and Literature, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
2- PhD Department of Cognitive Linguistics, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies, Tehran, Iran. , nematzadeh@iricss.org
Abstract:   (2225 Views)

Objective Learning “verb” as one of the main components of sentence, has been always a debatable topics in the process of language learning. One of the important issues in “verb” learning is determining its meaning using syntactic clues and learning its semantic aspects. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to examine the development of the semantic aspect of “verb” in a Persian-speaking child. In addition, with regard to similar reports from different languages, the answers to the following question were sought: Does in the process of learning “verb” and the interpretation of its meaning by a Persian speaking child, syntactic clues play a fundamental role? Does the child get help from the syntactic frame of the sentence to decipher the meaning of the verb? 
Materials & Methods This research was a case and longitudinal study conducted on a Persian-speaking child  from 21 to 45 months of his age and data were collected naturally in the context of his everyday conversations. After collecting the data (during 24 months), the created verbs were classified based on semantic classification of Lee and Naigles (2005) in 4 semantic classes of motion, internal-communication, bodily process, and creation-performance verbs. Theoretical framework of the research was syntactic bootstrapping of Naigles (1990, 2005), which was an interactive view (semantic-syntactic). Also, the data analysis method of the research was descriptive-analytic.
Results The results of the research confirms the syntactic bootstrapping of the “verb” in the growth process of the “verb” learning in Persian-speaking children. So that the Persian-speaking child in his 21 to 45 months old uses the syntactic clues to interpret the meaning of the verb i.e., the syntactic frame of the sentence helps child to interpret the meaning of the verb. Another finding of this research was the order of emergence of verb semantic classes in the language learning process. Based on the study evidence in the process of verb learning of a Persian-speaking child, at first the motion verbs appear that have the highest frequency of occurrence in the process of learning verbs, then come the bodily process, creation-performance, and internal-communication verbs that are produced the least in this age period. The low frequency of internal-communication verbs and not understanding the implicit meaning of some verbs by the child, especially in the early phase of this age period, shows that at first the child’s mind is occupied more by the objective and tangible phenomenon. In other words, the child learns rapidly objective and concrete phenomenon and gradually the child’s mind by learning the tangible and objective words, automatically extract their common features and learns them. One of the significant finding of this research was that the more the child interacts with the social environment, and his cognitive abilities grows, the more will be his/her production of verbs, especially creation-performance verbs.
Conclusion Based on the study evidence, the frequency of verb development with respect to semantic aspect in Persian-speaking child is similar to other children who speak other languages and syntactic frame of the sentence helps him/her to decipher the meaning of the verb. It seems that this feature would help to diagnose, evaluate, and rehabilitate the language and speech disorders in the process of verb learning.

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Type of Study: Case report | Subject: Speech & Language Pathology
Received: 24/01/2016 | Accepted: 5/05/2016 | Published: 1/07/2016

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