ERIC Number: ED188453
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
The Acquisition of Ask, Tell and Promise Structures by Arabic Speaking Children.
Aller, Wayne K.; And Others
In a study extending and refining Carol Chomsky's research, 48 Arabic speaking children aged six, eight, and ten were tested for their comprehension of imperatives using the complement-requiring verbs Ask, Tell, and Promise. Clear support for children's overgeneralization of the minimal distance principle was found only with Promise constructions. When a classification error by Chomsky (including a more complex sentence among her simplest Ask/Tell Case) was corrected by making a new case of this construction, it was found to be much harder than all but Chomsky's most difficult type. Overall, there was a strong tendency to interpret both Asks and Tells as direct speech, and therefore to ask the why clause. In the case of Ask constructions this leads to asking with the wrong subject. There were definite, age related Ask stages based on correct subject assignment. It is proposed that comprehensibility is not, as Chomsky claimed, simply one to complement clause complexity defined as the number of deletions from suface. (Author/SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the University of Wisconsin Linguistics Symposium (6th, Milwaukee, WI, March 18, 1977).