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Ergativity in child Basque

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Abstract

This chapter analyzes the development of ergativity in 20 bilingual and 11 monolingual children learning Basque by comparing their production of ergative case and agreement to their use of absolutive and dative case and verbal inflection. The children produced ergative verbal inflection earlier than ergative case; however, the opposite was true of dative indirect object agreement, which emerged later than dative case. Several potential factors which may influence the course of morphological development in Basque are evaluated, including morphological complexity, phonological difficulty and input frequency.

References

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