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Book Information


Title: Minimal Answers
Subtitle: Ellipsis, syntax and discourse in the acquisition of European Portuguese
Written By: Ana Lúcia Santos
Series Title: Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 48

This book offers a new contribution to the debate concerning the
acquisition of the syntax-discourse interface. It provides evidence that
children acquiring European Portuguese have a very early ability to
spontaneously produce VP ellipsis as answers to yes-no questions. It is
also argued that the distribution of VP ellipsis in European Portuguese
(including its co-existence with Null Complement Anaphora) supports the
hypothesis that the identification condition on ellipsis is derivable from
some innate knowledge of the syntax-discourse interface. Answers to yes-no
questions also provide evidence concerning children’s interpretation of
questions containing a cleft or the operator só ‘only’. The analysis of
spontaneous production is complemented by a comprehension experiment,
showing that children have two problems in the interpretation of these
questions: (i) they do not understand that the cleft and só introduce a
presupposition and (ii) they start with a default focus assignment strategy
and may not access other focus interpretations.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Linguistic Theories
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Portuguese
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9789027253095
Prices: Europe EURO 105.00
U.S. $ 158.00
Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9789027289766
Prices: Europe EURO 105.00
U.S. $ 158.00