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Development of word order in German complement-clause constructions:effects of input frequencies, lexical items, and discourse function

Brandt, Silke and Lieven, Elena and Tomasello, Michael (2010) Development of word order in German complement-clause constructions:effects of input frequencies, lexical items, and discourse function. Language, 86 (3). pp. 583-610. ISSN 0097-8507

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Abstract

We investigate the development of word order in German children's spontaneous production of complement clauses. From soon idler their second birthday. young German children use both verb-final complements with complementizers and verb-second complements without complementizers. By their third birthday they use both kinds of complement clauses with a variety of complement-taking verbs. Early in development, however, verb-final complements and verb-second complements are used with separate sets of complement-taking verbs, and they are used with separate sets of item-specific main-clause phrases. For example, initially phrases such as 'I want to see' were used exclusively with verb-final complements, whereas phrases such as 'do you see' and 'you have to say' were used exclusively with verb-second complements. Only later in development when specific complement-taking verbs were used with both verb-second and verb-final complements, with a greater variety of main-clause phrases, and when specific main-clause phrases were used with both verb-second and verb-final complements was there evidence for structural links between these various, item-based, complement-clause constructions.*

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Language
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
ID Code: 58814
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2012 14:00
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2014 11:37
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/58814

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