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ERIC Number: EJ1102952
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Acquiring Constraints on Morphosyntactic Variation: Children's Spanish Subject Pronoun Expression
Shin, Naomi Lapidus
Journal of Child Language, v43 n4 p914-947 Jul 2016
Constraints on linguistic variation are consistent across adult speakers, yielding probabilistic and systematic patterns. Yet, little is known about the development of such patterns during childhood. This study investigates Spanish subject pronoun expression in naturalistic data from 154 monolingual children in Mexico, divided into four age groups: 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12+. Results from logistic regressions examining five predictors of pronoun expression in 6,481 verbs show that children's usage is structured and patterned. The study also suggests a developmental progression: as children get older, they become sensitive to more constraints. I conclude by suggesting that children learn patterns of variation by attuning to distributional tendencies in the input, and that the more frequent the patterns are, the easier they are to detect and learn.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A