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Body Parts and Early-Learned Verbs
Cognitive Science (2008)
  • Josita Maouene, Grand Valley State University
  • Shohei Hidaka
  • Linda B. Smith

This article reports the structure of associations among 101 common verbs and body parts. The verbs are those typically learned by children learning English prior to 3 years of age. In a free association task, 50 adults were asked to provide the single body part that came to mind when they thought of each verb. Analyses reveal highly systematic and structured patterns of associations that are also related to the normative age of acquisition of the verbs showing a progression from verbs associated with actions by the mouth, to verbs strongly associated with actions by hand and arm, to verbs not so strongly associated with any one body part. The results have implications for proposals about embodied verb meaning and also for processes of early verb learning

  • World learning,
  • Language,
  • Verb meaning,
  • Embodiment
Publication Date
Citation Information
Josita Maouene, Shohei Hidaka and Linda B. Smith. "Body Parts and Early-Learned Verbs" Cognitive Science Vol. 32 Iss. 7 (2008)
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