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ERIC Number: EJ908841
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0097-8507
Development of Word Order in German Complement-Clause Constructions: Effects of Input Frequencies, Lexical Items, and Discourse Function
Brandt, Silke; Lieven, Elena; Tomasello, Michael
Language, v86 n3 p583-610 Sep 2010
We investigate the development of word order in German children's spontaneous production of complement clauses. From soon after their second birthday, young German children use both verb final complements with complementizers and verb-second complements without complementizers. By their third birthday they use both kinds of complement clauses with a variety of complement taking verbs. Early in development, however, verb-final complements and verb-second complements are used with separate sets of complement-taking verbs, and they are used with separate sets of item-specific main-clause phrases. For example, initially phrases such as "I want to see" were used exclusively with verb-final complements, whereas phrases such as "do you see" and "you have to say" were used exclusively with verb-second complements. Only later in development--when specific complement-taking verbs were used with both verb-second and verb-final complements, with a greater variety of main-clause phrases, and when specific main-clause phrases were used with both verb-second and verb final complements--was there evidence for structural links between these various, item based, complement-clause constructions.
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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