Person and number asymmetries in child Catalan and Spanish

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This study provides a unified account for the different Number Agreement patterns attested in early Catalan and Spanish. The scarce Person Agreement errors analyzed indicate the existence of a pragmatic rather than a syntactic deficit while, concerning Number, the distribution of plural subjects show than children are sensitive to linear order as in other domains of grammar. As for Number marking, subjects trigger Number Agreement on the verb in preverbal and not in post-verbal position. Following Guasti & Rizzi’s proposal (2002) we suggest that the overt movement of the plural DP to a position in which it enters into an agreement relation with V is not realized, yielding the possibility that Agreement features not be checked in the overt syntax and that the verb surfaces without plural marking.


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