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Book Information


Title: The Acquisition of Complex Sentences
Written By: Holger Diessel
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 105

Note: This is the paperback edition of a previously announced title.

This book presents a comprehensive study of how children acquire complex
sentences. Drawing on observational data from English-speaking children
aged 2 to 5, Holger Diessel investigates the acquisition of infinitival and
participial complement clauses, finite complement clauses, finite and
nonfinite relative clauses, adverbial clauses, and coordinate clauses. His
investigation shows that the development of complex sentences originates
from simple non-embedded sentences and that two different developmental
pathways can be distinguished: complex sentences including complement and
relative clauses evolve from simple sentences that are gradually expanded
to multiple-clause constructions, and complex sentences including adverbial
and coordinate clauses develop from simple sentences that are integrated in
a specific biclausal unit. He argues that the acquisition process is
determined by a variety of factors: the frequency of the various complex
sentences in the ambient language, the semantic and syntactic complexity of
the emerging constructions, the communicative functions of complex
sentences, and the social-cognitive development of the child.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Language Acquisition
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521107482
ISBN-13: 9780521107488
Prices: U.S. $ 32.99
U.K. £ 17.99