Chapter published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2017: Selected papers from 'Going Romance' 31, Bucharest
Edited by Alexandru Nicolae and Adina Dragomirescu
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 355] 2021
► pp. 10–27
The acquisition of verbal passives by Portuguese-speaking children
Some data from comprehension
Previous cross-linguistic research showed that verbal passives are delayed in child grammar. Moreover, Maratsos et al. (1985) found that actional passives elicit more adult-like results than non-actional passives in child English. Hirsch & Wexler (2006) proposed that the adult-like results children achieved with actional passives are due to a resultative adjectival passive analysis, unavailable for non-actional verbs. Alternatively, Snyder & Hyams (2015) proposed that this delay is due to the need of semantic coercion to passivize non-actional verbs. Here we present an experiment testing children’s comprehension of short and long passives of actional and perception verbs in European Portuguese, a language with different auxiliaries for adjectival and verbal passives. The results replicate previous findings for English, despite the difference in auxiliary.
Keywords: verbal passive, adjectival passive, language acquisition, European Portuguese
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