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Haur euskaldunen hizkuntzaren jabekuntza-garapena: Infl eta Konp funtzio kategorien erabileraz. (Basque-speaking children"s language adquisiton: use of the functional categories INFL and COMP)

Barreña Agirrebeitia, Andoni (1993) Haur euskaldunen hizkuntzaren jabekuntza-garapena: Infl eta Konp funtzio kategorien erabileraz. (Basque-speaking children"s language adquisiton: use of the functional categories INFL and COMP). Other thesis, Universidad del País Vasco.

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This research was carried out with a double purpose: to describe the process of Basque grammar acquisition on one hand and, on the other, to define the successive stages of acquisition, according to the development of different grammatical categories.

We would like to point out though several similar studies which refer to different languages (English, German, Swedish, etc) have already been carried out, this is the first to describe the acquisition of Basque grammar based on longitudinal data.

It has been possible thanks to the collaboration and effort within two research projects: HEGEHJ (Haur euskara gaztelania elebidunen hizkuntza jabekuntza - Language acquisition in Basque-Spanich bilingual children) at the University of the Basque Country, and BUSDE (Baskisch und Spanisch doppelter Erstspracherwerb - Basque and Spanish, adquisition of two first languages) at Hamburg University, directed by two experts: Itziar Idiazabal and Jürgen Meisel. These groups of researchers have collected fortnightly data on Basque nomolingual and Basque-Spanish bilingual children, from the age of 1,06 to the age of 5,06. In the presen study, the productions in Basque of one monolinual and two bilingual children, ages 1,06 to 4,00 have been analysed.

The following linguistic units have been taken into account; grammar cases (absolutive, ergative and dative), verbal agreement (subject, direct and indirect objects), verbal tense, verbal mode, verbal aspect, verbal negation, temporal and non-temporal subordinate clauses, wh-questions and some apects of order of constituents in declarative sentences. With Chomsky"s Universal Grammar as a starting point, the Principles and Parameter Model establishes a differentiation between lexical categories (noun, verb, adjective, preposition) and functional categories, constructed as a projection of the lexical ones (Determiner Phrase, INFL(ection) Phrase, COMP (lementizer) Phrase, etc.). According to several contributions to the studies of child language: Radford (1986) for English, Parodi (1989) for French-German bilingual people, Platzack (1990) for Swedish children, etc., there is a short period, previous to the development of grammar, during which children do not use structures corresponding to the functional categories INFL and COMP. This period ranges approximately from 1,06 to 2,01 years of age. Aldridge (1986) and Meisel (1990) state that the acquisition of the functional categories and, consequently, of syntax, is gradual. This graduation is even extended to the different components or features of INFL: different agreements and tense.

Having analysed this data, the main conclusions obtained are as follows:

1. The process of acquisition in similar in the three children: the different categories analysed develop in parallel in each of them. 2. Previous to the process of grammatical development, a pregrammar or pre-syntactic period is observed, during which the children do not use grammatical or syntactic principles. 3. What is considered the nucleus of grammar is developed between 2;00 and 3;00 year of age approximately, although there are individual differences due to the moment when this process is initiated. 4. The process is gradual: the INFL category precedes the COMP category. 5. Acquisition of INFL is gradual. Its different components or features appear gradually, following the same order in the three children: Subject Agreement, Indirect Object Agreement, Direct Object Agreement (3rd person only), Verbal Tense and Moon. Verbal Aspect seem to appear at the same time as Subject Agreement. 6. The process of grammar acquisition is independent and runs separately from the semantic-pragmatic development

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Divisions: UPV/EHU > Filología, Geografía e Historia
DirectorItziar Idiazabal,
Date Deposited: 24 May 2010 16:59
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2010 13:16
URI: http://edtb.euskomedia.org/id/eprint/5629

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