Minimal Answers

Ellipsis, syntax and discourse in the acquisition of European Portuguese

| University of Lisbon
ISBN 9789027253095 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027289766 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
This book offers a new contribution to the debate concerning the acquisition of the syntax-discourse interface. It provides evidence that children acquiring European Portuguese have a very early ability to spontaneously produce VP ellipsis as answers to yes-no questions. It is also argued that the distribution of VP ellipsis in European Portuguese (including its co-existence with Null Complement Anaphora) supports the hypothesis that the identification condition on ellipsis is derivable from some innate knowledge of the syntax-discourse interface. Answers to yes-no questions also provide evidence concerning children’s interpretation of questions containing a cleft or the operator ‘only’. The analysis of spontaneous production is complemented by a comprehension experiment, showing that children have two problems in the interpretation of these questions: (i) they do not understand that the cleft and introduce a presupposition and (ii) they start with a default focus assignment strategy and may not access other focus interpretations.
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders, 48]  2009.  xv, 296 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of tables
List of figures
Abbreviations used in glosses
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. VPE and the structural and anaphoric properties of minimal answers in EP adult grammar
Chapter 3. Learnability issues in VPE and focus
Chapter 4. How early can VPE be found?
Chapter 5. Answers as a window into the interpretation of questions
Chapter 6. Conclusions
Subject index
“This book overall is an impressive and major contribution to the field of language acquisition. It is a model dissertation for students of language acquisition, and sets the stage for further exploration of the syntax/discourse interface in young children’s grammars.”
“Santos is to be commended for the scope of the study presented, from its impeccable methodology that combines spontaneous production with experiments that more directly tap competence, to the insightful analysis, which reflects a keen understanding of all the relevant issues in acquisition theory and most impressively of the theoretical syntactic ones.[...]. We highly recommend this book. It will be a useful resource for graduate students and academics interested in interface acquisition issues, particularly so for those with an interest in the acquisition of Romance languages.”
Cited by

Cited by 23 other publications

Agostinho, Celina, Ana Lúcia Santos & Inês Duarte
2018.  In Complement Clauses in Portuguese [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 17],  pp. 261 ff. Crossref logo
Arregi, Karlos & Asia Pietraszko
2021. The Ups and Downs of Head Displacement. Linguistic Inquiry 52:2  pp. 241 ff. Crossref logo
Cadime, Irene, Ana Lúcia Santos, Iolanda Ribeiro & Fernanda Leopoldina Viana
2021. Parental Reports of Preschoolers' Lexical and Syntactic Development: Validation of the CDI-III for European Portuguese. Frontiers in Psychology 12 Crossref logo
Costa, Ana Luísa
2019. A contribution to the implicit/explicit debate on grammar learning: the case of contrast connectors. Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies :24(1)  pp. 45 ff. Crossref logo
Cyrino, Sonia & Gabriela Matos
2016.  In The Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics,  pp. 294 ff. Crossref logo
Gonçalves, Anabela & Ana Lúcia Santos
2018.  In Complement Clauses in Portuguese [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 17],  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Gribanova, Vera
2017. Head movement and ellipsis in the expression of Russian polarity focus. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 35:4  pp. 1079 ff. Crossref logo
Haznedar, Belma & F. Nihan Ketrez
2016.  In The Acquisition of Turkish in Childhood [Trends in Language Acquisition Research, 20],  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Hein, Johannes
2021. Verb movement and the lack of verb-doubling VP-topicalization in Germanic. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 24:1  pp. 89 ff. Crossref logo
Hengeveld, Kees & J. Lachlan Mackenzie
2014. Grammar and context in Functional Discourse Grammar. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) 24:2  pp. 203 ff. Crossref logo
Landau, Idan
2020. Constraining Head-Stranding Ellipsis. Linguistic Inquiry 51:2  pp. 281 ff. Crossref logo
Landau, Idan
2020. On the Nonexistence of Verb-Stranding VP-Ellipsis. Linguistic Inquiry 51:2  pp. 341 ff. Crossref logo
Landau, Idan
2021.  Ellipsis with a Coordinated Antecedent: An Alternative to V‐stranding VP ‐ellipsis . Studia Linguistica 75:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Lipták, Anikó & Andrés Saab
2014. No N-raising out of NPs in Spanish: ellipsis as a diagnostic of head movement. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 32:4  pp. 1247 ff. Crossref logo
Lobo, Maria, Ana Lúcia Santos & Carla Soares-Jesel
2016. Syntactic structure and information structure: The acquisition of Portuguese clefts andBe-fragments. Language Acquisition 23:2  pp. 142 ff. Crossref logo
Madeira, Ana
2016.  In The Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics,  pp. 578 ff. Crossref logo
Martins, Ana Maria
2018.  In Complement Clauses in Portuguese [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 17],  pp. 101 ff. Crossref logo
Polinsky, Maria & Gregory Scontras
2020. Understanding heritage languages. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 23:1  pp. 4 ff. Crossref logo
Rothman, Jason, David Giancaspro & Becky Halloran
2014.  In Portuguese-Spanish Interfaces [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 1],  pp. 317 ff. Crossref logo
Santos, Ana Lúcia & Cristina Flores
2016. Comparing heritage speakers and late L2-learners of European Portuguese. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 6:3  pp. 308 ff. Crossref logo
Sato, Yosuke & Simin Karimi
2016. Subject-object asymmetries in Persian argument ellipsis and the anti-agreement theory. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 1:1 Crossref logo
Silva, Carla, Irene Cadime, Iolanda Ribeiro, Sandra Santos, Ana Lúcia Santos & Fernanda Leopoldina Viana
2017. Parents’ reports of lexical and grammatical aspects of toddlers’ language in European Portuguese: Developmental trends, age and gender differences. First Language 37:3  pp. 267 ff. Crossref logo
van Craenenbroeck, Jeroen
2017.  In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Second Edition,  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 12 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFDC – Language acquisition
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008050227 | Marc record