NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED261549
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Lexical Anaphors and Pronouns.
Wexler, Kenneth; Chien, Yu-Chin
Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, v24 p138-49 Aug 1985
Two studies examined the development of major properties of reflexives and pronouns in English language acquisition by applying the theory of binding of reflexives and pronouns to potential antecedents in the sentence. The children ranged in age from 2.6 to 6.6 years. In the first experiment, the children were presented with two pictures and were asked which corresponded to a specific possessive construction. The constructions used either a reflexive sentence or a pronoun sentence, each having a different antecedent. The second exeriment used the same task, but with test sentences containing an additional prepositional construction. The third study used an acting-out task similar to a Simon-says game, adding linguistic complexity. The results suggest that children acquire the structural principles governing reflexives gradually and steadily, but that even at the upper end of this age range, they commit many violations of the principles governing pronouns and they show very little improvement from the youngest to the oldest. The findings suggest that, while the essential grammatical knowledge exists in children from an early age, the pragmatic factors are learned later, and performance subsequently improves. This supports the lexical learning hypothesis and a simpler theory of binding. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A