Article published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory: Selected papers from ‘Going Romance’ Amsterdam 2007
Edited by Enoch Oladé Aboh, Elisabeth van der Linden, Josep Quer and Petra Sleeman
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 1] 2009
► pp. 267–285
OV sequences in early child Catalan and English
In this paper I investigate the nature of preverbal objects in child English and Catalan. OV sequences occur in the children’s productions between approximately 19 months and 2 years of age even though both adult English and Catalan display VO word order. I claim that OV sequences emerge in child English and Catalan after Telicity Phrase and Aspect Phrase have been acquired but are still underspecified, thus not forcing movement of objects and verbs to Tel0 and Asp0 respectively. While V-to-Asp0 without object-to-Tel0 yields VO word order, the opposite yields OV, which disappears as soon as both movements can no longer take place non-simultaneously. In child Catalan, two kinds of OV sequences are distinguished: ‘true’ OV sequences, which occur with non-finite and non-adult inflected verbs, and Focus fronted OV combinations, which are attested with adult-like inflected verbs and whose syntax is different from ‘true’ OVs.
Published online: 19 November 2009