Young EFL students' reliance on path-breaking verbs in the use of English argument structure constructions

Hyunwoo Kim, Haerim Hwang, Yangon Rah

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the extent to which young EFL students rely on pathbreaking verbs in the comprehension and production of English argument structure constructions. In a sentence-sorting task, Korean EFL learners in grades 7 and 10 sorted English sentences, which were created by crossing four verbs with four constructions, into same groups according to overall sentence meaning and form. The results showed dominant verb-oriented sorting in grade 7, and more construction-biased sorting in grade 10 when the sentence included a path-breaking verb. In a written production task, Korean EFL students from grades 4 to 7 wrote a book report in English after a 4-week extensive reading program. The results demonstrated the more dominant use of path-breaking verbs in the ditransitive and resultative constructions than in the caused-motion construction. We discuss these findings in terms of usage-based perspectives of constructional learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-366
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Cognitive Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

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