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ERIC Number: ED375663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 47
Abstractor: N/A
The Structure of IP: Evidence from Acquisition Data.
Malamud Makowski, Monica
This study investigated the earliest manifestations of verb tense and agreement in English-speaking children, using longitudinal data on the language of four children aged 1:6 to 3:5 years, drawn from a child-language database. Analysis focused on one aspect of inflectional phrase (IP), the children's use of the verbs "be" and "do" forms to mark agreement, and the ending "-ed" and instances of "did" as tense markers. Results show that tense and agreement do not emerge simultaneously, and furthermore, that there is a specific sequence in order of acquisition across English-speaking children: namely, tense appears before agreement. Findings are considered in the context of several approaches to language acquisition and current theories of syntactic structure. It is concluded that: (1) results provide empirical support for the syntactic structure of the language and in particular, the split-inflectional hypothesis, and (2) among current approaches to language acquisition, the continuity hypotheses lend themselves best to interpretation of these results. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A