Child Language Variation
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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Thisi paper considers the impact of morphosyntactic variation in the input on the language acquisition process. In particular, it studies the acquisition of variable subject-verb agreement and variable negative concord by children acquiring the Belfast dialect of English. It finds that, given variation in the input, children can acquire more than one grammatical variant, although both do not necessarily emerge at the same time in the case of negative concord, forms without negative concord emerge in the children’s language before the use of negative concord is used. It is also found that the proportion of each variant in a child’s output matches the proportion in the input they receive.


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