The role of input on early first language morphosyntactic development: Le rôle de l’input sur le développement morphosyntaxique précoce en langue maternelle
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873
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Because of its syntactic, semantic and cognitive complexity, the French morphology for tense, aspect and modality is acquired slowly and gradually by children, from the moment they are born until their adolescence. The least frequent forms in adult language are acquired later. In order to understand how these forms are memorized, handled and produced by children in dialogue, we focus our study on the use of a rare form: the French conditional. We present two French children’s first uses of verbal constructions in the conditional between the ages of 1;00 and 6;11. Four periods can be distinguished during the acquisition process beginning with the production of a unique form with a stable function and ending with the use of different forms with a variety of functions. Adult language plays a very different role depending on the child’s age. After a period during which the children replicate the most frequent adult forms, both children construct different forms with various functions in a more creative manner with occasional non-standard productions. The adult form/function associations are finally reactivated and non-standard forms progressively disappear from the data.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): acquisition du français; conditionnel; formes rares; rôle du langage adulte

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