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Academic Paper


Title: The Overgeneralization of Non-Finite Complements to Finite Contexts: The case of decide*
Author: Amanda Jean Owen
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.shc.uiowa.edu/wjshc/research/gal/index.html
Institution: University of Iowa
Author: Laurence B. Leonard
Institution: Purdue University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Abstract: Current views on the acquisition of PRO can roughly be divided into two areas: lexical and syntactic accounts. We present data on one verb, 'decide', that yields data that not only differs from the data for other similar verbs with the same children, but does not lend itself easily to either type of account. Data from a sentence elicitation task conducted with 20 typically-developing children (4;0 – 7;11), along with 3 case studies illustrate that children may not be assigning a referent for PRO in an adult-like manner for particular verbs. Instead they may be overgeneralizing the use of non-finite complements to finite contexts.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 34, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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