Acquiring Dutch quantitative ER
Very few studies have been concerned with the acquisition of the Dutch quantitative pronoun ER, leaving the question unanswered as to why this particular pronoun seems to be difficult to acquire. In this dissertation it is investigated which factors play a role in the acquisition of the Dutch quantitative pronoun ER.
Four factors that might influence the acquisition of quantitative ER were investigated: learner population (monolingual children, bilingual children, adult second language learners of Dutch), mother tongue (French or English) in the case of bilingual or second language acquisition, the type of constraints on the use of the quantitative pronoun ER (syntactic or semantic) and the type of knowledge that is
targeted (implicit or explicit).
To answer the main research question of this dissertation, five studies were carried out, in which different types of methodology were used to investigate the learners’ knowledge of quantitative ER: spontaneous speech, untimed grammaticality judgement tasks, an elicited imitation task and a sentence completion task.
It was shown that successful acquisition of the Dutch quantitative pronoun ER depends on learner population, the mother tongue of the learner, and the type of knowledge that is targeted (implicit or explicit), but not on the type of constraints (syntactic or semantic) on the use of the quantitative pronoun ER.
This dissertation is relevant to those who are interested in the acquisition of quantitative constructions and pronouns. More broadly, it contributes to the understanding of Dutch monolingual, bilingual and adult second language acquisition.