Splitting the notion of ‘agent’: case-marking in early child Hindi Journal Article uri icon



  • Two construals of agency are evaluated as possible innate biases guiding case-marking in children. A BROAD construal treats agentive arguments of multi-participant and single-participant events as being similar. A NARROWER construal is restricted to agents of multi-participant events. In Hindi, ergative case-marking is associated with agentive participants of multi-participant, perfective actions. Children relying on a broad or narrow construal of agent are predicted to overextend ergative case-marking to agentive participants of transitive imperfective actions and/or intransitive actions. Longitudinal data from three children acquiring Hindi (1;7 to 3;9) reveal no overextension errors, suggesting early sensitivity to distributional patterns in the input.

publication date

  • November 1, 2005

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • January 14, 2015 8:14 AM

Full Author List


author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0305-0009

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-7602

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 787

end page

  • 803


  • 32


  • 4