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Pragmatics as a facilitator for child syntax development

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Abstract

Early research on the development of children’s syntax did not include the pragmatic context in describing syntactic changes. Halliday, in a case study, was the first to make the connection of form and function. Studies of larger samples from the standpoint of communicative function, using films, were separate from studies of syntactic development. Both with pronouns and temporal and causal clauses, the pragmatic context of situation and speech acts appear to provoke or facilitate either creative new uses or advancement of skills. It is crucial to do systematic pragmatic sampling at several levels of context in studying syntactic development.

References

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