Predications and nonreferential cohesion in Irish-speaking children's narratives
This work describes the manipulation of predication in the narratives of monolingual Irish (Gaelic)-speaking preschool children, and compares the development of nonreferential means of cohesion in a language that is typologically distinct to development in other languages, especially English. The examination presents general data on eight two through five year old children's use of finite and nonfinite verbs, of the complements and modifiers of verbs, and of textual devices to link clauses. Predication and other nonreferential devices function both to propel the narrative forward, and to provide cohesion at the local or global level through temporal, logical, or evaluative means. Four of the children's narratives are examined in greater detail. Despite the typological differences between Irish and many other European languages, predicate development seems to proceed similarly in many respects. The possible exception is the clitic-like copula and its various irregular forms, which did not appear to have been mastered until relatively late.