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ERIC Number: EJ1139117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Pronoun Preferences of Children in a Language without Typical Third-Person Pronouns
Iraola Azpiroz, Maialen; Santesteban, Mikel; Sorace, Antonella; Ezeizabarrena, Maria-José
First Language, v37 n2 p168-185 Apr 2017
This study presents comprehension data from 6-7-and 8-10-year-old children as well as adults on the acceptability of null vs overt anaphoric forms (the demonstrative "hura" "that" and the quasipronoun bera "(s)he, him-/herself") in Basque, a language without true third-person pronouns. In an acceptability judgement task, a developmental change occurred in the preference for "hura" (Experiment 1): 6-7-year-olds showed a preference for the null pronoun in both topic-shift and topic-continuity contexts, while 8-10-year-olds, like adults, preferred "hura in topic-shift contexts and null pronouns in topic-continuity contexts. However, no developmental shift was observed in the preference for "bera" (Experiment 2): unlike adults, neither 6-7 nor 8-10-year-old children selected "bera" over null pronouns in topic-shift contexts. They instead showed a general preference for null pronouns, an indication of tolerance for ambiguity--a pattern which differs from prior studies in other null-subject languages, where ambiguous pronouns declined with age. The results reveal a different developmental pattern for "hura" and "bera", which may be explained by the more rigid (syntactic) constraints operating on "hura" in comparison to "bera" in antecedent choice.
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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: Spain
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A