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Picture of Syntactic Complexity from a Language Acquisition Perspective

Syntactic Complexity from a Language Acquisition Perspective

Editor(s): Elisa Di Domenico

Book Description

The volume examines syntactic complexity from an acquisitional perspective, which offers a peculiarly grounded starting point when dealing with linguistic complexity, under the assumption that what is simpler is acquired earlier than what must be thought of as complex. Connecting acquisitional data inseparably to formal linguistic analyses, it not only allows a comparison between structures at various levels in terms of complexity, but also a deeper insight into the factors determining complexity in different populations of acquirers.

The book is divided into two parts following an introductory chapter. The papers in Part I consider the first language acquisition of some complex structures such as different types of passives, relative clauses, questions and classes of predicates, with a look at children’s early sensitivity to seemingly complex domains, such as the Definiteness Effect and unaccusative predicates. Part II is dedicated to the acquisition of complex structures in different modes of acquisition. The papers here examine, sometimes comparatively, different conditions of language acquisition dealing with clitics, types of relative clauses or referential pronouns. The languages considered range from European Portuguese to Finnish, French, German, Italian and Romanian.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5177-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5177-9
Date of Publication: 01/04/2017
Pages / Size: 262 / A5
Price: £61.99


Elisa Di Domenico is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Università per Stranieri of Perugia, Italy, and holds a PhD in Linguistics. She has held a research appointment at the National Research Council (CNR) in Rome and a teaching position at the University of Siena, where she was a member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Cognitive Studies of Language. Her research interests focus on linguistic theory, morpho-syntax and (second) language acquisition.