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A Child's Early Use of the Imperative to Express Agentivity in Spanish
John Ryan
223-231 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This study investigates the acquisition of argument structure and verb phrase by one monolingual child learning Peninsular Spanish. Specific attention is paid to three areas of emergence: 1) argument-specific verb types, such as unaccusatives, unergatives, and transitives; 2) various morphological forms of the verb produced by the child, particularly tensed and non-tensed forms such as imperatives and infinitive expressions; and 3) the position of overt arguments. The data suggest early correlation between morphological form and degree of agentivity of the verb, where verbs with Agent subjects almost exclusively appear in the imperative and Theme-oriented verbs appear primarily as tensed forms.

Published in

Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2008)
edited by Jean Crawford, Koichi Otaki, and Masahiko Takahashi
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00