Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595



The paper examines how children quote their parents’ utterances. In other words, it investigates linguistic recycling as an aspect of language learning and how the child-directed speech (CDS) of adults influences child speech (CS). This topic is examined especially in the light of research made in the crosslinguistic project on pre- and protomorphology in language acquisition. is characterized by rote-learned forms, which the child has memorized and stored as chunks from CDS (e.g., Finn , Est ‘water,’ partitive form). During , the child imitates CDS and produces analogical forms (e.g. Finn CDS: vs. CS: ‘ate’, Est CDS: vs. CS: ‘said’), which then gradually evolve into adult-like grammar. Usage-based approaches to language acquisition rely on the assumption that language structures are learned from language use. Typical material in present-day child language research is based on tape recordings and transcripts made from these recordings. This kind of data makes it possible to take into account the influence of CDS to CS in a more accurate way than the earlier data collecting methods, such as diary material, which usually contains mostly utterances produced by the child do. The article examines how CDS gives models to CS and how the acquisition proceeds from early rote-learned forms to adult-like grammar from the perspective of frequency distributions of inflectional patterns and elaboration on linguistic forms in CDS – CS interaction. On the basis of analyzed speech samples and previous results, it is obvious that the quoting in children’s and adults’ speech is present on different levels of language and is often bidirectional in nature.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Argus, R.
    (2009) The early development of case and number in Estonian. InStephany, U. & Voeykova, M. D. (Eds.), Development of nominal inflection in first language acquisition: A cross-linguistic perspective, (pp.111–151). Berlin: De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110217117.111
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110217117.111 [Google Scholar]
  2. Argus, R., & Kõrgesaar, H.
    (2014) Sõnaliigid eesti lapse kõnes ja lapsele suunatud kõnes. Eesti Rakenduslingvistika Ühingu Aastaraamat. Estonian Papers of Applied Linguistics, 10, 37–53.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Dressler, W. U., Ketrez, F. N., Kilani-Schoch, M., & Stephany, U.
    (2017) Introduction. InW. U. Dressler, F. N. Ketrez, & M. Kilani-Schoch (Eds.), Nominal compound acquisition (pp.1–18). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lald.61.01dre
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lald.61.01dre [Google Scholar]
  4. Laalo, K.
    (2007) Diminutives in Finnish child-directed and child speech. InI. Savickiene & W. U. Dressler (Eds.), The acquisition of diminutives: A cross-linguistic perspective (pp.263–278). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lald.43.11laa
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lald.43.11laa [Google Scholar]
  5. (2009) Acquisition of case and plural in Finnish. InU. Stephany & M. D. Voeykova (Eds.), Development of nominal inflection in first language acquisition: A cross-linguistic perspective (pp.49–89). Berlin: De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110217117.49
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110217117.49 [Google Scholar]
  6. (2011) Lapsen varhaiskielioppi ja miniparadigmat [Protogrammar and miniparadigms in child language]. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura [The Finnish Literature Society].
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2015) Adjectives in Finnish child language: Morphological and semantic aspects. InE. Tribushinina, M. D. Voeikova, & S. Noccetti (Eds.), Semantics and morphology of early adjectives in first language acquisition (pp.395–434). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Laalo, K., & Kunnari, S.
    (2012) Hoivakieli. InS. Kunnari & T. Savinainen-Makkonen (Eds.), Pienten sanat: Lasten äänteellinen kehitys (pp.106–118). Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Lieven, E.
    (2016) Usage-based approaches to language development: Where do we go from here?Language and Cognition, 8(3), 346–368. doi:  10.1017/langcog.2016.16
    https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2016.16 [Google Scholar]
  10. Pajusalu, K.
    (2001) Baby talk as a sophisticated register: A phonological analysis of South Estonian. Psychology of Language and Communication, 5(2), 81–92.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Savickiene, I., & Dressler, W. U.
    (Eds.) (2007) The acquisition of diminutives: A cross-linguistic perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lald.43
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lald.43 [Google Scholar]
  12. Stephany, U., & Voeykova, M. D.
    (Eds.) (2009) Development of nominal inflection in first language acquisition: A cross-linguistic perspective. Berlin: De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110217117
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110217117 [Google Scholar]
  13. Tomasello, M.
    (2003) Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Tribushinina, E., Voeikova, M. D., & Noccetti, S.
    (Eds.) (2015) Semantics and morphology of early adjectives in first language acquisition. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error