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All Pronouns Are Not Acquired Equally in Dutch: Elicitation of Object and Quantitative Pronouns
Angeliek van Hout, Alma Veenstra, and Sanne Berends
106-121 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This research reports the results of eliciting pronouns in two syntactic environments: Object pronouns and quantitative er (Q-er). Thus another type of language is added to the literature on subject and object clitic acquisition in the Romance languages (Jakubowicz et al., 1998; Hamann et al., 1996). Quantitative er is a unique pronoun in the Germanic languages; it has the same distribution as partitive clitics in Romance. Q-er is an N'-anaphor and occurs obligatorily with headless noun phrases with a numeral or weak quantifier. Q-er is licensed only when the context offers an antecedent; it binds an empty position in the NP. Data from typically-developing children aged 5;0-6;0 show that object and Q-er pronouns are not acquired equally; it is proposed that this is due to their different syntax. The use of Q-er involves more sophisticated syntactic knowledge: Q-er occurs at the left edge of the VP and binds an empty position in the NP, whereas object pronouns are simply stand-ins for full NPs and occur in the same position. These Dutch data reveal that pronouns are not used as exclusively as object clitics are in the Romance languages (Varlakosta, in prep.).

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2010)
edited by Mihaela Pirvulescu, María Cristina Cuervo, Ana T. Pérez-Leroux, Jeffrey Steele, and Nelleke Strik
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Printed edition: $320.00