The Acquisition of Word Order

Micro-cues, information structure, and economy

ORCID logoMarit Westergaard | University of Tromsø/CASTL
ISBN 9789027255280 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027289346 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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Within a new model of language acquisition, this book discusses verb second (V2) word order in situations where there is variation in the input. While traditional generative accounts consider V2 to be a parameter, this study shows that, in many languages, this word order is dependent on fine distinctions in syntax and information structure. Thus, within a split-CP model of clause structure, a number of micro-cues are formulated, taking into account the specific context for V2 vs. non-V2 (clause type, subcategory of the elements involved, etc.). The micro-cues are produced in children’s I-language grammars on exposure to the relevant input. Focusing on a dialect of Norwegian, the book shows that children generally produce target-consistent V2 and non-V2 from early on, indicating that they are sensitive to the micro-cues. This includes contexts where word order is dependent on information structure. The children’s occasional non-target-consistent behavior is accounted for by economy principles.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 145] 2009.  xii, 245 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“I very much enjoyed reading the book and would strongly recommend it to acquisitionists and syntacticians alike. Overall, I found the model of micro-cues that Westergaard develops very appealing, and I hope that she will provide us with some of the answers of my remaining questions in her future work, which I look forward to reading.”
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2018. The acquisition of word order in L2 Norwegian: The case of subject and object shift. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 41:3  pp. 247 ff. DOI logo
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2012. Topicality and Complexity in the Acquisition of Norwegian Object Shift. Language Acquisition 19:1  pp. 39 ff. DOI logo
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2011. The Acquisition of (Word Order) Variation. In Variation in the Input [Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics, 39],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
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2014. The Acquisition of the Dative Alternation in Norwegian. Language Acquisition 21:1  pp. 72 ff. DOI logo
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2020. Word order variation in heritage languages. In Lost in Transmission [Studies in Bilingualism, 59],  pp. 100 ff. DOI logo
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Waldmann, Christian
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Westergaard, Marit
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Wolfe, Sam
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Wolfe, Sam
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[no author supplied]
2010. Publications received in 2009. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 33:1  pp. 97 ff. DOI logo

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Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009011565 | Marc record