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The Acquisition of Neg-V and V-Neg Order in Embedded Clauses in Swedish: A Microparametric Approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2014 (English)In: Language Acquisition, ISSN 1048-9223, E-ISSN 1532-7817, Vol. 21, no 1, 45-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the acquisition of embedded verb placement in Swedish children, focusing Neg-V and V-Neg order. It is proposed that a principle of economy of movement creates an overuse of V-Neg order in Swedish children’s embedded clauses and that the extremely low frequency of the target-consistent Neg-V order in child-directed Swedish obstructs children from revising their initial hypothesis about the verb placement in embedded clauses, creating a delay in the acquisition of Neg-V. However, it is also demonstrated that, despite the lack of clear evidence for the Neg-V order in Swedish children’s input, the children distinguish between different types of embedded clauses in the acquisition of Neg-V and V-Neg order already between the age of three and four years, supporting a microparametric approach to language acquisition. Comparing child-directed Swedish to child-directed German, it is further proposed that the presence of clear evidence for verb-final in the input to German children aids error-free acquisition of embedded verb placement in German.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 21, no 1, 45-71 p.
Keyword [en]
child language acquisition, economy of movement, embedded clauses, microparametric approach, negation, Swedish, verb movement, verb placement
National Category
Specific Languages General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Linguistics; Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-65852DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2013.855217ISI: 000330103500003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84893031262OAI: diva2:604982
Available from: 2013-02-12 Created: 2013-02-12 Last updated: 2014-12-18Bibliographically approved

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Waldmann, Christian
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