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Not all complementisers are late

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Type

Article

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Abstract

jats:pThis paper analyses the emergence of illocutionary complementisers (in the sense of Corr 2016, 2022) through a corpus study with Catalan and Spanish children. The production of illocutionary complementisers by ten Catalan- and Spanish-speaking children in the CHILDES database is quantified and compared to the production of finite embedding complementisers. The results indicate that illocutionary complementisers emerge early in the child production data, often well before embedding complementisers first appear. These preliminary findings, which illustrate important developmental differences between kinds of complementisers, are hard to account for in approaches that take functional categories to mature bottom-up, with left-peripheral knowledge developing last. I argue, instead, that the early emergence of illocutionary complementisers favours a view which takes the C-domain to be present early on in child grammars. I finish by considering the development of Italo-Romance complementisers as a future direction, suggesting that a deeper analysis of child ‘errors’ or input-divergent utterances may provide significant insights into the theoretical questions presented, as much as grammatical ones.</jats:p>

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Keywords

52 Psychology, 5204 Cognitive and Computational Psychology, 4704 Linguistics, 47 Language, Communication and Culture, Pediatric

Journal Title

Isogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2385-4138
2385-4138

Volume Title

9

Publisher

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona