Ellipsis and dialogue in the early acquisition of syntax
AbstractThe transition from the one and the two-word phases to the first complete sentences was investigated. Within an emergentist scope, it was hypothesized that it would be possible to identify transitional constructions, more complex than the mere juxtaposition of two words but syntactically less mature than simple sentences. Specifically, predominance of one and two-word productions, and a marginal use of correct but non-productive sentences were predicted, together with a gradual increase of syntactic fragments, i.e., correct and non-productive ellipses, given their frequent use in the Spanish language. Hypotheses were tested through a longitudinal study of a monolingual Spanish girl, from the age of 20 to 27 months. Weekly video sessions over seven months recorded her spontaneous utterances. Those were coded together with their situational and speech contexts. The results supported and specified the hypothesis. Over time, there was an increased use of constructions we have called pre-ellipses because they mimic adult ellipses. Detailed analyses showed pre-elliptical constructions evolved from showing a local dependency on their production context, to becoming linked to the linguistic structure of the previous turn. Dialogue and its context played a fundamental role in these transitional steps into syntax.
Copyright (c) 2013 Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Murcia
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The works published in this journal are subject to the following terms:
1. The Publications Service of the University of Murcia (the publisher) retains the property rights (copyright) of published works, and encourages and enables the reuse of the same under the license specified in paragraph 2.
2. The works are published in the online edition of the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (legal text). You can copy, use, distribute, transmit and publicly display, provided that: i) you cite the author and the original source of publication (journal, editorial and URL of the work), ii) are not used for commercial purposes, iii ) mentions the existence and specifications of this license.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
3. Conditions of self-archiving. Is allowed and encouraged the authors to disseminate electronically pre-print versions (version before being evaluated and sent to the journal) and / or post-print (version reviewed and accepted for publication) of their works before publication, as it encourages its earliest circulation and diffusion and thus a possible increase in its citation and scope between the academic community. RoMEO Color: Green.