Revisiting the Noun-Verb Debate: A Cross-Linguistic Comparison of Novel Noun and Verb Learning in English-, Japanese-, and Chinese-Speaking Children

Mutsumi Imai, Etsuko Haryu, Hiroyuki Okada, Li Lianjing, Jun Shigematsu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents results from a series of cross-linguistic studies which examined how English-, Japanese-, and Chinese-speaking children generalize newly learned nouns and verbs. Based on the results, it evaluates the two competing positions in the nounverb debate. It then explores universal and language-specific factors which affect the ease or difficulty of early noun and verb learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAction Meets Word: How Children Learn Verbs
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199893300, 0195170008, 9780195170009
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 1



  • Chinese language
  • Chinese-speaking children
  • Japanese language
  • Newly learned nouns
  • Novel noun
  • Verb learning
  • Verbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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