This dissertation investigates the acquisition of particle verbs in Dutch. Based on longitudinal child data it shows how children acquire lexical categories V, A and P and how they acquire the complex predicate status of particle verbs. It shows that the acquisition of categories A and P is dependent on the acquisition of category V and that the acquisition of category V is tightly connected to the acquisition of verb-second. It is the acquisition of this verb-second that also leads to the acquisition of the complex predicate status of particle verbs. It further shows that the acquisition process inevitably leads children into overgeneralisation of preposition stranding, but that the same acquisition process also inevitably leads children out of it. This dissertation further presents data from experiments with adult speakers that shed an interesting light on the role this overgeneralisation still plays in the adult grammar. Investigating the acquisition of particle verbs cannot be done without taking a closer look at the acquisition process itself. As such, this dissertation also addresses more general questions concerning the acquisition process, such as the role of the lexicon and of generalizations. It shows an acquisition process in which the child makes use of pragmatic ootstrapping and syntactic cueing to build layer upon layer of grammar without the need of inherently, specifically linguistic knowledge. This dissertation will be of interest to anyone working on language acquisition, the syntax of particle verbs and preposition stranding, and the interaction between syntax and information structure.