Child Language Variation
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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This paper discusses 3rd person singular - in the language of three- to six-year-old developing AAE speakers, in relation to early stages of zero 3rd person singular - (Øs) and overt marking. Data include a sentence repetition task and a story retell task. The speakers’ 3rd person singular -s and Øs marking are examined as a function of age, verb type, allomorph, and verb coordination. Analyses are presented to support the claim that the 3rd person singular marker - is not part of the AAE grammar although children produce the marker in certain contexts. The speakers’ 3rd person singular - and Øs marking are also discussed in relation to the optional root infinitive stage and the Multiple Grammars approach.


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