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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Passive Voice and Children|
|Question:||How old are children when they begin to comprehend passive verbs? Specifically, when are they able to correctly parse the relation between actors and verbs so that, given the sentence ''The lion was being chased by the tiger,'' they know that the tiger was doing the chasing?|
|Reply:||As Professor Fischer points out, passive constructions vary quite a lot. This is true both within and across languages, which impacts age of acquisition including in child simultaneous multilingualism. These two books have some discussion on variation and age of acquisition of passives in (mostly monolingual) child English: Eve V Clark, _First Language Acquisition_ http://www.cambridge.org/sg/academic/subjects/languages-linguistics/psycholinguistics-and-neurolinguistics/first-language-acquisition-2nd-edition?format=PB _The Blackwell Handbook of Language Development_ http://as.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405194596.html Madalena|
|Reply From:||Madalena Cruz-Ferreira click here to access email|