The Expression Of Simultaneity In Li Dutch
The focus of the current study is on the temporal relation of simultaneity between events. Investigating the expression of simultaneity, and the development thereof, reveals interesting insights concerning the use of a particular grammatical aspectual marker in Dutch. Adult native speakers of Dutch and 4-7-year-old children acquiring Dutch as their only L1 were set to the task of retelling simple animated clips depicting either simultaneous or sequential events. The data provide an overview of linguistic means available in Dutch for expressing various types of simultaneity. A main finding is that the Dutch progressive construction - aan het + V-inf zijn - is widely used when expressing simultaneous events, already from an early age onwards. Furthermore, when examining children's production data, several age-specific temporal linking strategies can be described. For example, children do not always adhere to the Principle of Natural Order in their narrations. Instead, children, especially at the early developmental stages, are mainly concerned with changes of state in the depicted event. That means, changes of state have a direct impact on children's cognitive development of temporality. We speculate that the concept of simultaneity is therefore easier to acquire than that of sequentiality.
Published online: 24 March 2014