Date Thesis Awarded

5-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Linguistics

Advisor

Kaitlyn Harrigan

Committee Members

Anya Lunden

Randi Moore

Meghan Miller

Abstract

Languages populate a typological spectrum between verb-framed and satellite-framed based on how they encode Path, the trajectory of a figure related to a fixed point, in motion events. Verb-framed languages encode Path on the main verb (e.g. enter, exit, cross). Satellite-framed languages tend to encode Path in a predicative satellite like a preposition, leaving the verb slot open for the optional element of Manner or how the figure moves (e.g. walk, jump). Bilingual speakers of one of each type, like of Spanish and English respectively, experience transfer between their two languages during acquisition. This study aims to integrate interaction between first languages and typological theory of verb frames in order to determine if bilingualism produces facilitatory effects in Path verb learning in Spanish-English bilingual children. Participants were 33 preschool and elementary school students (MAGE 5.02) who were recruited based on their language status. Monolingual English speaking and Spanish-English bilingual children participated in a forced choice task and were scored on their ability to correctly identify novel verbs as Path or Manner. Results produced a significant main effect for the verb type conditions, and a significant interaction between language group conditions and verb type conditions. However, contrary to the hypothesis, bilinguals showed decelerated accuracy in the Path condition. More participants must be run, and more variations of this study must be conducted in order to determine the cause of these effects.

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