Functional Categories in Child L2 Acquisition of French

  • Grondin N
  • White L
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Abstract

Vainikka and Young-Scholten (1994; in press) argued that adult language learners verb phrases and that subsequent of functional initially project projection categories is input driven, with inflectional before phrases emerging complementizer phrases. assumed Eisen They that the same is true for first-language acquisition (Clahsen, and Vainikka (1994)). On this account, one would beiss, child second-lan? expect guage (L2) learners to lack functional categories in the early stages of language In this article, we argue against this position data drawn from a learning. using of spontaneous data from longitudinal corpus production two English-speaking children who started attending French at age 5. Our data suggest that kindergarten functional in the earliest utterances categories and their projections are present available. Relevant data include the productive use of determiners, case inflection, and correct marking, subject clitics, w/i-questions, negative placement. Changes were largely quantitative rather than qualitative in both children, with no radical shifts in the grammar as regards functional These projections. data do not support the claim for a purely lexical stage in child L2 acquisition.

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