Edited by Anna Gavarró
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 62] 2018
► pp. 7–30
French experiencer verbs and the Universal Freezing Hypothesis
The Universal Freezing Hypothesis (UFH) of Snyder and Hyams (2015) predicts that the developmental time course of English be-passives follows from younger children’s inability to make exceptions to the Freezing Principle, required for smuggling derivations, where mature speakers can. Recent research (Belletti & Rizzi, 2012) indicates that Object-Experiencer (OE) verbs, but not Subject-Experiencer (SE) verbs, require smuggling. We use French to test the resulting prediction of the UFH: mastery of French OE verbs should be late, after age 4, but SE verbs are mastered much earlier. Analysis of longitudinal spontaneous-speech data from 11 children acquiring French indicates that OE verbs are infrequent in children’s speech prior to age 4, while SE verbs are present earlier, usually by age 2.
- 2.Prior research
- 2.1The Universal Freezing Hypothesis and the acquisition of be-passives
- 2.2The UFH and the acquisition of get-passives
- 2.3Guasti’s conjecture for Romance causatives
- 2.4Acquisition of French causatives
- 2.5Romance causatives and the UFH
- 2.6The locus of maturational change
- 3.Experiencer verbs and smuggling
- 3.1The UFH and the acquisition of French experiencer verbs
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