Embedded V-To-C in Child Grammar: The Acquisition of Verb Placement in Swiss German

Embedded V-To-C in Child Grammar: The Acquisition of Verb Placement in Swiss German

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How children acquire competence in verb placement in languages in which verb placement in matrix clauses does not coincide with that in embedded clauses is not well understood. Verb-Second languages like German and Dutch display the verb-final pattern in embedded clauses, which can be confusing for a developing child. This book addresses this problem in the context of Swiss German, itself a Germanic dialect.
Numerous examples are given of natural language produced by two children who were consistently followed between the ages of 4 and 6. Unexpectedly, since previous literature has suggested that children master verb placement very early in their linguistic development, these children move the verb in any type of embedded clause, leading to many verb-placement errors.
After introducing the problem and describing the data in detail, a technical analysis is developed in terms of a minimally split-CP, which is rather successful in accounting for these data.
The book should interest advanced students and researchers in both language acquisition and syntax.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 412 pages
  • 151.89 x 223.01 x 25.15mm | 635.03g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2001
  • XX, 412 p.
  • 0792371860
  • 9780792371861

Table of contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. Notation. Introduction. 1: General Properties of Swiss German. 1. Introduction. 2. The Verbal and Nominal System of Swiss German. 3. Verbal Placement in Swiss German. 4. The Distribution of Nominals. 5. Various Analyses of Verb Placement. 2: Natural Production Data on Verb Placement in Lucernese. 1. Introduction. 2. Survey of Acquisition Literature on Subordination in German and Swiss German. 3. Verb Placement in the Lucernese Acquisition Data. 4. Unclear Verb Placement in the Children's Spontaneous Production Data. 5. Placeholders and Clauses in Which the Complementizer has been Omitted. 6. Summary. 3: Elicited Data on Verb Placement in Lucernese. 1. Introduction. 2. Elicited Answers to Questions. 3. Elicitation Sessions. 4. Experimental Data. 5. Summary. 4: Natural Production Data on Matrix Clauses. 1. Introduction. 2. Moira's Matrix Clauses. 3. Omission of Clause-Initial Constituents in Child Grammar. 4. A Comparison of Matrix Clauses Produced by the Child and the Adult. 5. Summary. 5: Analysis. 1. Introduction. 2. Summary of the Acquisition Data Presented in Chapter 2. 3. Input, Verb-Projection Raising and Extraposition. 4. A Critical Re-Examination of the Acquisition Data. 5. An Analysis. 6. Conclusions. 6: Summary and Concluding Remarks. Appendix I: Verb-Placement Tables. Appendix II: Sample Sentences Used during Elicitation. Appendix III: Omission of a Clause-Initial Subject in Declarative Matrix Clauses in Child and Adult Grammar. Appendix IV: The Nature of Z. References. Index.
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