Friday 8 September, 2017
Root Infinitives in Norwegian Child Language
Speaker: Bror-Magnus S. Strand, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway
Authors: Bror-M. S. Strand
This poster presents an investigation into the Root Infinitives (or Optional Infinitives) in 16 Norwegian two year olds. I show that children behave similarly to findings in other Germanic languages (German, Dutch, Danish, and Swedish) in three regards. First, the Root Infinitive follows the negation, as opposed to finite verbs, indicating that it has not moved. Second, it is never used in WH-questions. And third , the percentage of null subjects is significantly higher in Root Infinitive clauses than finite ones. I will give a review of some of the previous analyses of RI, before I present my own analysis: that the Root Infinitive is a grammatical structure in Norwegian child language, and is an overgeneralization of the prescriptive/jussive infinitive that is amply present in children's input.
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