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Syntax and Language Acquisition

Eisenbeiss, Sonja (2015) 'Syntax and Language Acquisition.' In: Kiss, Tibor and Alexiadou, Artemis, (eds.) Syntax: an international handbook of contemporary research (2nd edition). Mouton de Gruyter and Co., Berlin. (In Press)

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This chapter provides an overview of theoretical issues and core empirical findings in cross-linguistic research on the acquisition of syntax. Section 1 identifies key issues in syntax acquisition research: (i) the respective contribution of learners' input and innate predispositions for language acquisition;(ii) the time course of syntactic development; (iii) the role of learners’ age and potential implications for monolingual, bilingual and second language (L2) acquisition. Section 2 introduces methods for investigating syntactic development. Section 3 discusses the relative role of learners’ input and innate predispositions for syntax acquisition. This section presents (i) generative, Optimality Theory and usage-based approaches to syntactic development and (ii) the empirical findings on learners’ input that form the background for the debate between proponents of the different approaches. Section 4 focuses on the emergence of syntax. The following sections discuss the acquisition of core syntactic phenomena: questions and embedded clauses (section 5), passives (section 6), co-reference(section 7), and quantification (section 8). Each of these sections gives an overview of theoretical accounts and empirical findings; with a focus on monolingual first language (L1) acquisition. Age effects and differences between monolingual and bilingual acquisition are the focus of section 9.Section 10 discusses the empirical findings and their theoretical implications and highlights current trends.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2014 14:20
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 14:28

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