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ERIC Number: EJ1106576
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
The Acquisition of Jamaican Creole: Null Subject Phenomenon
De Lisser, Tamirand Nnena; Durrleman, Stephanie; Rizzi, Luigi; Shlonsky, Ur
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v23 n3 p261-292 2016
This article provides the first systematic analysis of early subject omission in a creole language. Basing our analysis on a longitudinal corpus of natural production of Jamaican Creole (JC), we observe that early subject drop is robustly attested for several months. Early subject omission is basically confined to the clause initial position, being virtually absent from instances of "wh"-preposing, as has been observed for other languages. The acquisition of JC thus provides empirical support for the claim that early null subjects are a case of the "Privilege of the Root," and for the Truncation Hypothesis (Rizzi 1992, 1993/94, 2006). However, the occurrence of subject-drop following null interrogative operators in null "wh"-questions and yes/no questions suggests that the mechanism of truncation needs fine-tuning. To respond to this challenge, we suggest an approach to the privilege of the root and truncation that capitalizes on the spell-out mechanism, rather than on structure-building operations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Jamaica
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A