ERIC Number: ED249785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Semantically-Based Child Grammars: Some Empirical Inadequacies.
It is argued that the general consensus of researchers of child language that the grammatical system underlying the child's earliest multiword utterances is semantically-based, fails to provide an adequate description of even the earliest multiword utterances, and that the most sparing account of the acquisition data must include reference to syntactic features. Data from 11 monolingual Italian speaking children aged 1.9 to 2.4 years were analyzed for five productive processes in early language: subject-verb agreement, agreement with noun phrase, absence of lexical subjects, post-verbal subjects, and clitic/noun phrase distribution. In each instance, the empirical predictions deriving from a semantically-based system are not supported by the acquisition data. It is concluded that all the data point to an early grammar making reference to various grammatical categories, rules, and relations, a grammar that, unlike the semantically based model, is not qualitatively different from adult grammar and in which syntax and semantics develop in parallel. (MSE)
Descriptors: Adults, Child Language, Comparative Analysis, Grammar, Italian, Language Acquisition, Learning Processes, Linguistic Theory, Preschool Children, Semantics, Validity
PRCLD, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($12.00 for entire volume; individual papers not available).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Volume 23, p58-65 Sep 1984.