Paper: Acquisition of Desires before Beliefs: A Computional Investigation

ACL ID W13-3525
Title Acquisition of Desires before Beliefs: A Computional Investigation
Venue International Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning
Session Main Conference
Year 2013
Authors

The acquisition of Belief verbs lags be- hind the acquisition of Desire verbs in children. Some psycholinguistic theo- ries attribute this lag to conceptual differ- ences between the two classes, while oth- ers suggest that syntactic differences are responsible. Through computational ex- periments, we show that a probabilistic verb learning model exhibits the pattern of acquisition, even though there is no dif- ference in the model in the difficulty of the semantic or syntactic properties of Be- lief vs. Desire verbs. Our results point to the distributional properties of various verb classes as a potentially important, and heretofore unexplored, factor in the ob- served developmental lag of Belief verbs.