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ERIC Number: EJ1184638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Focusing Functional Elements: Affirmative Particles and Verum Focus in First Language Acquisition of German
Dimroth, Christine; Schimke, Sarah; Turco, Giuseppina
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v25 n3 p268-283 2018
We examine whether German children attach an adultlike relevance to the pragmatic category of polarity contrast (e.g., "In my picture the child IS eating the candies" following after "In my picture the child is not eating the candies") with linguistic expressions (i.e., the affirmative particles "schon"/"doch"/"wohl" 'indeed' and accented auxiliary verbs, known as verum focus) that are frequent in adult speech. A picture-difference task with 4-6-year-olds and an adult control group shows that both groups mark polarity contrast with similar frequency but with strikingly different means: The adults produced verum focus; the children most often used particles. Moreover, the use of polarity-related expressions competes with structures that are never used by adults but are nevertheless adapted to the information structure context at hand. Overall, our findings suggest that from the repertoire of context-adapted solutions, children prefer structures that are conceptually and formally easier and maximally transparent.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany