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ERIC Number: EJ777559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 29
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Which "It" is It? The Acquisition of Referential and Expletive It
Kirby, Susannah; Becker, Misha
Journal of Child Language, v34 n3 p571-599
The purpose of this study was to determine the natural order of acquisition of the proform "it," comparing deictic pronoun "it," anaphoric pronoun "it" and expletive "it." Files from four children (Adam, Eve, Nina and Peter) aged 1 ; 6-3 ; 0 in the CHILDES database were coded for occurrences of NP it (here it is) and expletive it (it's raining). Occurrences of NP "it" were coded for whether they followed an overt discourse anaphor (anaphoric "it") or not (deictic "it"). All children examined produce deictic and anaphoric pronoun "it" from the very first files, but do not produce expletive "it" until 2-7 months later. Following Inoue's (1991) lexical-semantic reanalysis account of the acquisition of expletive "there" after locative "there," we propose that children acquire expletive "it" by reanalyzing referential pronoun "it" to include an expletive subtype. This reanalysis takes place when children realize that expletive "it" never co-occurs with any deictic/anaphoric referent.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A