Edited by Gunther De Vogelaer and Matthias Katerbow
[Studies in Language Variation 20] 2017
► pp. 91–116
Chapter 4. Child acquisition of sociolinguistic variation
Adults, children and (regional) standard Dutch two-verb clusters in one community
The main questions of this paper are whether children acquire adults’ variable V1-V2/V2-V1 word order in the perfective two-verb cluster simultaneously with a rigid V1-V2 word order in the modal two-verb cluster from start of the acquisition process. The experimental results show that children acquire variable word orders following rigid ones confirming Labov’s (1989) expectation that children have to acquire grammatical properties before acquiring stylistic and sociolinguistic constraints. It is, however, not possible to disentangle whether the struggle with the variable word orders in the perfective cluster is due to grammatical reasons only or in combination with the fact that this type of variation reveals no significant social stratification among the adults.
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