This book provides new insights into the acquisition of functional categories in child language. Operating within the Minimalist Framework (Chomsky 1995) it examines in particular the availability of Determiner Phrases in the grammar of young children acquiring Spanish as a first language.
The analysis reveals an interaction in child grammar around the production of bare nominals, proto-determiners and full determiner phrases. Socarrás performs both qualitative and quantitative analyses to point to a link between the development stages children go through, and the occurrence of these elements in their speech.
The work goes on to address the language acquisition debate between the continuity and discontinuity hypotheses, aligning the findings with a conclusion on how best to organise the theory.