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Acquisition of inflected and uninflected infinitives in child L1 European Portuguese

Pires, A., Rothman, J. and Santos, A. L. (2010) Acquisition of inflected and uninflected infinitives in child L1 European Portuguese. In: Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition (GALA).

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Abstract/Summary

This study investigates the child (L1) acquisition of inflected and uninflected infinitives in European Portuguese (EP). We test and contrast properties involving two interfaces, focusing on morpho-syntactic and syntax-semantics properties of inflected infinitives, in contrast with uninflected infinitives. We present experimental results from three monolingual EP child groups, between ages 6 and 12 (n=72), compared to EP adults (n=32). Results show that children as young as 6-7 have knowledge of the morpho-syntactic properties of inflected infinitives, although at first glance they show insufficient knowledge of their syntax-semantics interface properties (i.e. non-obligatory control properties), differently from older children, who show evidence of knowledge of both types of properties. We argue that, in general, morpho-syntactic and syntax-semantics interface distinctions are also accessible to 6-7 children, but children may not show the entire range of interpretations possible for adults.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
ID Code:44370

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