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LINGUIST List 23.54

Wed Jan 04 2012

Diss: Lang Acq/Greek: Doukas: 'Acquisiton of the Verbal Domain in ...'

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        1.     Thomas Doukas , Acquisiton of the Verbal Domain in Child Greek: Evidence from a new child Greek corpus

Message 1: Acquisiton of the Verbal Domain in Child Greek: Evidence from a new child Greek corpus
Date: 24-Dec-2011
From: Thomas Doukas <sxr06tdreading.ac.uk>
Subject: Acquisiton of the Verbal Domain in Child Greek: Evidence from a new child Greek corpus
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Institution: University of Reading
Program: School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Thomas Doukas

Dissertation Title: Acquisiton of the Verbal Domain in Child Greek: Evidence from a new child Greek corpus

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): Greek, Modern (ell)

Dissertation Director:
Theo Marinis

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis addresses the acquisition of the verbal domain in early Greek
by exploring tense, finiteness, and subject-verb agreement based on samples
from two monolingual children aged 1;7 - 2;11. The analyses of the data
address two main theoretical accounts of language acquisition, namely, the
generative approach and the usage-based approach. The results of the
analyses, however, suggest that the latter approach did not provide
sufficient empirical evidence to account for the data presented in this study.

Previous research suggested that sigmatic past in Greek is more prominent
than non-sigmatic past, and therefore, its acquisition is subject to a dual
mechanism. The results of the use of past tense suggest that sigmatic forms
are used more often than non-sigmatic ones. A frequency analysis suggests
that high frequency past tense forms in adults are used more often by
children than low frequency ones.

Studies in child Greek proposed an early stage of development, during which
children produce non-finite non-adult verbal forms, also referred to as the
Root Infinitive stage. The data analysis show very few non-finite non-adult
forms. These occur in children's speech only for a very short period at
around the age of 2 years. The frequency analysis reveals that input does
not relate to the production of RIs in children's speech.

Previous studies on the acquisition of verbal morphology showed that
children's use of person and number markings are not productive and that
children use mainly the 3rd singular. The subject-verb agreement analysis
shows that error rates are low in children's speech and that subject-verb
agreement is used productively from very early. A frequency analysis shows
that use of inflectional morphology is very similar between the two
children but different to adults.

To conclude, this thesis provides new evidence for very early acquisition
of the verbal domain in child Greek.

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