Grammatical Features and the Acquisition of Reference

Author: Sergio Baauw
LOT Number: 039
ISBN: 90-76864-05-5
Pages: 220
Year: 2000
€32.00
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Grammatical Features and the Acquisition of Reference offers a comparative study of the interpretation of definite articles and pronouns by Dutch and Spanish 4 – 7 your old children. It presents experimental evidence showing that children’s interpretation of definite articles and pronouns is affected by their incomplete acquisition of morphosyntactic features of the D-position, the host of both pronouns and definite articles. It is argued that as a result of this, children often interpret definite articles as expletive determiners (articles without semantic content), and third person pronouns as SE-anaphors (se in Spanish and zich in Dutch).

This  study also offers evidence for the claim that young children are sensitive to inflectional morphology. It shows that children acquiring a poorly inflected language, such as Dutch, have considerably more difficulties with the adult interpretation of pronouns and definite articles than children acquiring a richly inflected language, such as Spanish.

Grammatical Features and the Acquisition of Reference will be of interest to any scholar concerned with (first) language acquisition, syntax and language variation.

Grammatical Features and the Acquisition of Reference offers a comparative study of the interpretation of definite articles and pronouns by Dutch and Spanish 4 – 7 your old children. It presents experimental evidence showing that children’s interpretation of definite articles and pronouns is affected by their incomplete acquisition of morphosyntactic features of the D-position, the host of both pronouns and definite articles. It is argued that as a result of this, children often interpret definite articles as expletive determiners (articles without semantic content), and third person pronouns as SE-anaphors (se in Spanish and zich in Dutch).

This  study also offers evidence for the claim that young children are sensitive to inflectional morphology. It shows that children acquiring a poorly inflected language, such as Dutch, have considerably more difficulties with the adult interpretation of pronouns and definite articles than children acquiring a richly inflected language, such as Spanish.

Grammatical Features and the Acquisition of Reference will be of interest to any scholar concerned with (first) language acquisition, syntax and language variation.

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