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.
- 2.The passive in European Portuguese
- 3.Experimental task: Predictions, procedure and results
- 4.Discussion and conclusion