General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 7 September, 2017 17:40 to 18:10

Oral presentation

How children deal with word order variation in the input: Evidence from elicited repetition of embedded clauses in German

Speaker: Emanuela Sanfelici, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Authors: Sanfelici Emanuela, Corinna Trabandt, Alex Thiel, Petra Schulz

This paper examines the acquisition of verb placement in German embedded clauses that allow for variation between verb-second (V2) and verb-final (V-final), investigating whether children allow for this alternation and whether they show a preference for one verb parameter value. Under specific licensing conditions, complement clauses, weil ‘because’ clauses, and relative clauses in German exhibit both V-final and V2 word-order. We tested 59 monolingual German-speaking children (Age 3-5) with a picture-supported delayed-imitation task that required participants to repeat the three types of embedded clauses presented with either V-final or V2 word order. Our findings reveal a robust preference for V-final over V2 structures in all three syntactic environments. We argue that this preference for V-final is in line with an economy-based strategy that in case of variation in the primary linguistic data favors the underspecified value – because their licensing conditions form a superset of those of the other variant (V2).

Further information:

L1 acquisition - Session III


Other activities in L1 acquisition - Session III

18:10 h. to 18:40 h.

Oral presentation

RIs in L1 and 2L1 acquisition and the issue of interlinguistic influence: Are we comparing apples and oranges?

Speaker: Juana Liceras, University of Ottawa / Universidad Nebrija

17:10 h. to 17:40 h.

Oral presentation

Omission of Prepositions in Production is Linked to Online Comprehension Difficulties

Speaker: Natalia Mitrofanova, Norges Arktiske Universitet

18:40 h. to 19:10 h.

Oral presentation

On Semantic Coercion in Children's Raising and Passives

Speaker: William Snyder, University of Connecticut
Speaker: Emma Nguyen, University of Connecticut