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Title: The Acquisition of Intensifiers
Subtitle: Emphatic Reflexives in English and German Child Language
Written By: Insa Gülzow
Series Title: Studies on Language Acquisition 22

Insa Gülzow analyzes the acquisition of intensifiers by children acquiring
German or English as their first language. Based on a comparative analysis
of intensifiers and related expressions in the two languages, she examines
the longitudinal production data of six German-speaking and six
English-speaking children with regard to when and in which contexts the
intensifiers German selbst/selber and English x-self (myself, yourself,
himself, etc.) appear.

As intensifiers evoke alternatives to the referent of their focus and
relate a central referent to more peripheral alternative referents, they
are an important linguistic means to structure the participants of a
child's early discourse. By integrating intensifiers into their utterances,
children can identify themselves as central. The notion of being included
or excluded in a certain state of affairs is relevant for children when
interacting with their parents and/or other children. In the course of
development, children acquire a number of both linguistic and
non-linguistic skills that characterize them as increasingly independent
and competent agents. In this process, intensifiers are an important
linguistic device with which children can negotiate and comment on their
participation in a given event.

The three parts of the volume consist first, of a detailed analysis of the
intensifiers selbst/selber and x-self and related expressions such as
allein and by x-self in the two languages. Special attention is given to
the fact that in English, intensifiers and reflexive pronouns are identical
expressions while in German they are distinct. Second, previous results of
comprehension studies are carefully reviewed in order to relate them to the
findings in longitudinal production data. Third, a detailed analysis of the
children's early use of intensifiers and related expressions is presented.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110185911
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 279
Prices: Europe EURO 98.00
U.S. $ 132.30