ERIC Number: ED335890
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Acquisition of Genitive Agents in Samoan.
Duranti, Alessandro; Ochs, Elinor
A study investigated how Samoan adults use genitive constructions in comparison with use by four young children. Results suggest that while adults and children both favor a clausal strategy of highlighting the affected object in a manipulative activity scene, Samoan children have difficulty exploiting the grammar of genitive noun phrases to encode agent roles as well. This pattern implies that children's two-constituent utterances differ from those produced by adults. In children's utterances, when an agent is not encoded as a major sentential constituent, it is likely not to be encoded as a genitive modifier and must be sought in the immediate setting or previously-mentioned absolutive noun phrases. The common and varied use of a heavily-loaded absolutive noun phrase in Samoan two-constituent utterances suggests that the internal structure of a noun phrase is a particularly central domain of grammatical and conversational competence for Samoan children to acquire. An 18-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Number 28, p89-96, Aug 1989. For the proceedings, see FL 019 336.