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ERIC Number: ED261548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning the Passive in Zulu.
Suzman, Susan M.
Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, v24 p131-37 Aug 1985
A study of the late acquisition of the passive in Zulu used data from transcripts of naturalistic speech gathered in a longitudinal study of several children's speech development between 1.10 and 3.6 years of age. It was hypothesized that the productivity of the passive construction in Zulu is a factor facilitating acquisition. A range of passivizing noun phrases were found in the data, and their relationships were expressed in wh-question routines initiated by the adult. The combination of the productivity of the passive and the extension of the passive form into wh-subject questions expressing recipient-of-action relations appears to influence early acquisition. Unlike some other languages, Zulu appears to have the right combination of factors for encouraging children to learn the passive. The findings suggest that late acquisition of the passive in other languages be reconsidered in light of a little-examined "got"-passive, which parallels the more commonly studied "be"-passive. It is suggested that the former may be very important in young children's speech, expressing adversitive passive situations, and that its early use may contribute to the late acquisition of the latter passive form. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A