Young Spanish learners also pay attention to sentence structure when learning motion verbs, while older children are also sensitive to lexical/typological patterns of Spanish or English. Thus, a novel motion verb is likely to refer to a path-of-motion in Spanish (entrar/enter, bajar/descend) but a manner-of-motion in English (run, skip).

child running clip art

  • Hohenstein, J., Eisenberg, A.R. & Naigles, L. (2006) Is he floating across or crossing afloat? Cross-influence of L1 and L2 in Spanish-English bilingual adults. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 9, 249-261.
  • Hohenstein, J., Naigles, L., & Eisenberg, A. (2004) Keeping verb acquisition in motion: A comparison of English and Spanish. In G. Hall & S. Waxman (Eds.) Weaving a lexicon (pp. 569-602).
  • Naigles, L., Eisenberg, A.R., Kako, E.T., Highter, M., McGraw, N. (1998): Speaking of Motion: Verb
    Use in English and Spanish, Language and Cognitive Processes, 13:5, 521-549.
  • Naigles, L., and Terrazas, P. (1998) Motion verb generalizations in English and Spanish: Influences of language and syntax. Psychological Science 9, 363-369.