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ERIC Number: ED212131
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Syntactic Universals and the Acquisition of Spanish Word Order by Quechua-Speaking Children.
Lujan, Marta; Liliana Minaya
Because of the syntactic differences between Spanish and Quechua, Quechua-speaking children must make major word order adjustments to learn the Peruvian Spanish taught in school. This study investigates whether the order or time sequence in which these changes are adopted reflects any general constraint, or is in any way predicted by a theory of linguistic change. The acquisition process is illustrated with examples from early stage and later stage Peruvian Spanish. The examples indicate that the child makes initially two major syntactic changes -- these involve the order of the main verb in a sentence and the order of the head noun in the genitive phrase. Results indicate that linguistic innovations are constrained by the observance of linguistic universals. The word order acquisition stages postulated have important implications in the study of variability in Peruvian Spanish. The variability is directly dependent upon the degree of influence in Quechua. Features characterizing each stage may be kept as variable styles in the adult's speech, along with the standard norms, which may be used as a formal style. (Author/JK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual University of Wisconsin Linguistics Symposium: Language Contact (10th, Milwaukee, WI, March 1981).