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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This article proposes to study the acquisition of the placement of attributive adjectives by French-speaking children between the ages of 3;9 and 4;6. It examines the possibility to account for children’s uses and evolution on the basis of the model provided by the input, considering that there is a mismatch between speakers’ abstract knowledge of alternation and their behaviour in usage. The study consists of a comparison between the productions of three children at two points in their development, and the uses of their interlocutors, in situations of games. Results show that alternation appears late and develops slowly in children’s productions, suggesting a very long process of acquisition. They also indicate that children heavily rely on the input in their choices of placement, which influences how they come to master alternation. This supports a usage-based approach to the acquisition of word order and of the Adjective category.


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