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White, Hacquard & Lidz on categorization of complement clauses in acquisition

Now out in a volume on Semantics in Language Acquisition, "Main clause syntax in the acquisition of propositional attitude verbs" from 2015 alum, and current Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Data Science at Rochester, Aaron Steven White, with former advisors Valentine Hacquard and Jeffrey Lidz. The paper presents evidence from computational modeling to support the proposal that children can reliably distinguish between verbs of belief, such as think, and verbs of desire, such as want, based on abstract syntactic properties of their complements. This distinction can then be used to help infer the meanings of attitude verbs, via syntactic bootstrapping.