The Acquisition of Word Order

Micro-cues, information structure, and economy

| University of Tromsø/CASTL
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027255280 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027289346 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
 
Within a new model of language acquisition, this book discusses verb second (V2) word order in situations where there is variation in the input. While traditional generative accounts consider V2 to be a parameter, this study shows that, in many languages, this word order is dependent on fine distinctions in syntax and information structure. Thus, within a split-CP model of clause structure, a number of micro-cues are formulated, taking into account the specific context for V2 vs. non-V2 (clause type, subcategory of the elements involved, etc.). The micro-cues are produced in children’s I-language grammars on exposure to the relevant input. Focusing on a dialect of Norwegian, the book shows that children generally produce target-consistent V2 and non-V2 from early on, indicating that they are sensitive to the micro-cues. This includes contexts where word order is dependent on information structure. The children’s occasional non-target-consistent behavior is accounted for by economy principles.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 145]  2009.  xii, 245 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
xi–xii
Preliminaries
1–12
Word order variation and the structure of the target language
13–32
The of V2 and a of-cues
33–62
The input
63–76
The acquisition of word order in non-subject-initial declaratives
77–106
The acquisition of word order in subject-initial declaratives
107–132
The acquisition of word order in wh-questions
133–164
The acquisition of word order in yes/no-questions
165–182
The acquisition of word order in non-V2 contexts
183–198
Micro-cues, information structure, and economy
199–224
References
225–236
Appendix
237–242
Index
243–246
“I very much enjoyed reading the book and would strongly recommend it to acquisitionists and syntacticians alike. Overall, I found the model of micro-cues that Westergaard develops very appealing, and I hope that she will provide us with some of the answers of my remaining questions in her future work, which I look forward to reading.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009011565