Chapter published in:On the Acquisition of the Syntax of Romance
Edited by Anna Gavarró
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 62] 2018
► pp. 259–278
On the comprehension of recursive nominal modifiers in child Romanian
We investigate the comprehension of recursive locative adnominal PPs and subject RCs by Romanian monolinguals with a view to weighing the role of language specific properties (overt functional category encoding recursion and definiteness of the modified DP) in the acquisition of recursive structures. Our data show that comprehension of recursive nominal modifiers is delayed. Romanian 5- and 7-year-olds randomly assign a recursive or a conjunctive interpretation to recursive nominal modifiers. The availability of overt recursion markers in both modification structures is reflected in the absence of a main effect of structure; PP and RC modifiers are equally vulnerable. Our data suggest that children acquire recursive nominal modifiers late across languages, but language specific properties may determine the acquisition path.
Keywords: recursive structure, recursion marker, noun modifier, comprehension, Romanian
Published online: 12 December 2018
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