Volume 69, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In the early stage of Dutch first-language acquisition, conjugation is thought to be applied to particle verbs indicating movement (e.g., hij gaat weg/he goes away) rather than to causative particle verbs (e.g. Jas openmaken/coat open-make) (Jordens, 2000). Here, we validate this hypothesized relation between semantics and morphology using spontaneous speech-data from two different groups of children: children with a normal language development and children with a Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Utterances from both groups were compared for finiteness (i.e., conjugation) of particle verbs of the two semantic classes 'movement' and 'causation'. The results indicate that finiteness of particle verbs is indeed determined by the semantics of the verbs. Furthermore, we conclude that young SLI-children prefer to use the less complex structure of particle verbs of movement to causative particle verbs.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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