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Journal ArticleDOI

Grammatical Relations and Word Order in Italian Child Discourse

25 Sep 1978-Vol. 4, Iss: 4, pp 512-523

AbstractProceedings of the 4th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (1978), pp. 512-523

Topics: Applied linguistics (74%), Word order (57%)

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Abstract Previous research has shown that givenness influences adults’ syntactic choices with alternating dative verbs like give. For example, adults show a preference for given-before-new ordering with the two postverbal arguments of dative verbs. This paper considers whether givenness similarly affects child datives. In two elicited production studies with four-year-olds and a control study with adults, the discourse that participants heard before producing a dative construction was systematically varied. These studies indicate that (i) like adults, preschoolers tend to produce given-before-new argument ordering, (ii) givenness does not affect all verbs and arguments equally, and (iii) the givenness effect on word order can be largely, but not fully, attributed to the influence of givenness on referring expressions. In other words, participants showed a strong tendency to pronominalize given information and to mention pronouns first (short-before-long). These findings point to a high degree of continuity between child and adult language. Like adults, children attend to and integrate cues from form, function, and discourse as they process language for production.

9 citations


01 Sep 1984
Abstract: DOCUMENT RESUME

2 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Abstract Previous research has shown that givenness influences adults’ syntactic choices with alternating dative verbs like give. For example, adults show a preference for given-before-new ordering with the two postverbal arguments of dative verbs. This paper considers whether givenness similarly affects child datives. In two elicited production studies with four-year-olds and a control study with adults, the discourse that participants heard before producing a dative construction was systematically varied. These studies indicate that (i) like adults, preschoolers tend to produce given-before-new argument ordering, (ii) givenness does not affect all verbs and arguments equally, and (iii) the givenness effect on word order can be largely, but not fully, attributed to the influence of givenness on referring expressions. In other words, participants showed a strong tendency to pronominalize given information and to mention pronouns first (short-before-long). These findings point to a high degree of continuity between child and adult language. Like adults, children attend to and integrate cues from form, function, and discourse as they process language for production.

9 citations


01 Sep 1984
Abstract: DOCUMENT RESUME

2 citations