Edited by Eliane Segers and Paul van den Broek
[Not in series 206] 2017
The development of Hebrew conjunct constructions in narration
The current chapter describes a psycholinguistic study of the development of conjunct constructions, a multi-functional coordinated syntactic structure that lies at the heart of complex Hebrew syntax, which can express variegated content in syntactically complex structures. Conjunct constructions in narratives written by 150 Hebrew-speaking children, adolescents and adults were analyzed in terms of syntactic structure and function, lexical semantics, and discourse functions. Results indicate that this construction emerges as a simplex event-telling form, gaining in complexity and fulfilling more functions with age and schooling level, with a concomitant increase in the interface with other forms of complex syntax. The chapter concludes with an illustration of these developments in two narratives and a discussion of the role of language-specific constructions in language acquisition.