The acquisition of nominal determiners in French and German

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In many languages, the acquisition of nominal determiners is a central aspect of the emergence of grammar in children. This study compares the development of determiners — between the ages 1–3 — in the spontaneous productions of two children who acquire French and Austrian German respectively. Starting with the contrast between Romance and Germanic languages and focusing on morphosyntactic factors, the study evaluates the impact of typological and language-specific differences on the acquisition of determiners. We examine the prediction that determiners should emerge earlier in French than in German and classical hypotheses concerning varying prominence among determiners, definite over indefinite, masculine over feminine, and singular over plural, in the light of developmental data.


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