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Academic Paper

Title: The Emergence of Complex Sentences in a French Child's Language from 0;10 to 4;01: Causal Adverbial Clauses and the Concertina Effect
Author: Martine Sekali
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Institution: Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This article tests Diessel's ‘integration’ path of development of adverbial clauses (cf. Diessel, 2004), with special focus on the acquisition of ‘causal’ adverbial clauses, in the context of the overall development of grammatical/semantic complexification in a French child's longitudinal corpus of spontaneous speech (Madeleine, Paris Corpus) from 10 months to 4;01 years old. Three main patterns are retrieved in the child's uses of parce que constructions in interactional contexts. Linguistic analysis of these constructions reveals a dynamic pattern of syntactic expansion, integration and diversification, here called the concertina effect, which may provide an insight into the cognitive and pragmatic motives for syntax development in first language acquisition of French.


This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 22, Issue 1.

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