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ERIC Number: EJ834344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Partitivity, Atomization, and Noun-Drop: A Longitudinal Study of French Child Language
Valois, Daniel; Royle, Phaedra
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v16 n2 p82-105 Apr 2009
This article examines noun-drop constructions in French-speaking children. French being intermediate between English (which rarely allows noun-drop) and Spanish (which freely allows it) with respect to the richness of their respective morphological systems, it provides a fertile testing ground for various agreement-based analyses of noun-drop. We conclude, along with Snyder, Senghas, & Inman (2001) that agreement is not a factor in the licensing of these constructions. Moreover, limitations on the occurrence of this phenomenon (i.e., not all adjective types allow it) in French lead us to propose that semantic, rather than syntactic, factors are responsible for noun-drop in French, i.e., partitivity and atomization (in the sense of Bouchard 2002). This in turn assigns the determiner a more important role than had previously been assumed in the licensing of noun-drop. Ultimately, our analysis illustrates how child language can be used to discriminate between competing analyses of a given syntactic process. (Contains 8 tables and 20 notes.)
Psychology Press. 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: France