ERIC Number: ED210943
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Control Judgments by Deaf Adults and by Second Language Learners.
Berent, Gerald P.
First language acquisition studies reveal that children overextend the minimal distance principle (MDP) during their acquisition of infinitive complement structures. The MDP dictates the interpretation of the logical subject of the infinitive in these structures and overrides marked lexical features such as subject control. Misinterpretations by adult second language learners and by adult prelingually deaf individuals are also shown to result from an overextension of the MDP. On a comprehension test of specific sentences, the relative order of difficulty in interpreting the logical subject of the infinitive is similar for both groups. This order reflects the same order of difficulty on sentences containing "tell,""ask," and "promise" which has been reported in the literature on first language acquisition. The later acquisition of certain structures is explained in terms of the inherent linguistic complexity of the sentences. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Infinitives; Minimum Distance Principle
Note: A shorter version of this paper was presented at the Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (56th, New York, NY, December 27-30, 1981).