Der Erwerb von Positionsverben – Warum Kinder so an hängen hängen?

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In German a positional verb is frequently used to describe spatial relations. The verb is chosen from an alternate set to encode the orientation and disposition of the located object. On a German breakfast table, for example, the bread and the knife are 'lying' while the plates and jam are 'standing'. For a non-native German speaker this kind of categorization often remains very confusing, especially when the speaker's mother tongue does not encode posture at all when giving a local statement.

This paper will look at German positional verbs from an acquisition perspective. Drawing on elicited speech production data it will be shown that German hängen 'to hang' is the first systematically used positional verb and is indeed so in both first and second language acquistion.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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  • "Linguistische Berichte" is open-minded regarding linguistic subjects and methods, but attaches great importance to theoretical reasoning and empirical validation.
    Since its foundation in 1969 by Peter Hartmann and Arnim von Stechow, the journal is an academic forum where serious views within linguistics and similar fields of studies (psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition and teaching, literary studies, philosophy, and computer linguistics) are discussed equally.
    The purpose is to provide an objective and critical documentation of linguistic developments. Besides, the forum is open for each level of scientific work, i.e. for everyone who is dealing with linguistic-based work (undergraduates, assistants, and professors).
    New research results and linguistic developments are published quickly and comprehensively, and contributions are normally published within one year after acceptance by the editors.
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