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ERIC Number: EJ789953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
The Acquisition of Past Participle Agreement in Quebec French L1
Pirvulescu, Mihaela; Belzil, Isabelle
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v15 n2 p75-88 Apr 2008
Much developmental work has been devoted to the acquisition of object clitics in French. There is a consensus that in early grammar, children omit object clitics in contexts where an adult would not. Several analyses have been put forth, among which, one proposing a close link between the omission of object clitics and the presence of past participle agreement. In this short article we address this hypothesis by examining the acquisition of past participle agreement through two sentence-preference tasks administered to children (3- to 5-year-olds divided into three age groups) and adults from the Montreal area. The results of the experiments show that past participle agreement is a marginal feature in early grammar and therefore too weak to be considered as controlling the realization of the direct object clitics in child production. Children and adults display different behavior with respect to past participle agreement (weak and optional) versus subject-verb agreement (consistently strong and obligatory). This result points toward an analysis of past participle agreement in terms of language-specific optional verb movement. (Contains 3 tables and 6 footnotes.)
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Montreal)