How children understand full, truncated, and anomalous passives

Michael P Maratsos, Rona Abramovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Evidence is presented that children's abilities in comprehending full and truncated passives develop in close developmental synchrony, a result which fails to support the hypothesis that the two constructions are acquired and stored in psychologically different ways. Further results from children's comprehension and imitation of anomalous sentences (e.g., *the cat is licked the dog, *the cat is licked of the dog, *the cat is licked po the dog) also opposed an hypothesis that children comprehend full passives by processing only the initial truncated passive segment. Instead, their performance in comprehension tests appeared to rest on considerable knowledge of the detailed syntactic structure and semantic function of the markers of the passive construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1975

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