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Verbal Syntax and Morphology in Typically Developing Dutch Children and Children With Sli: How Developmental Data Can Play an Important Role In Morphological Theory

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This paper is a study of normal and impaired (SLI) linguistic development, especially in verbal morphology and syntax. The paper studies both linguistic development and how developmental phenomena provide evidence for adult linguistic theory. We use extensive developmental data to test models of normal and impaired development that have been applied to other languages—in particular, the Agr/Tense Omission Model (ATOM). We develop detailed models of Dutch morphology that—together with ATOM—predict that Dutch-speaking children will produce more root infinitives than English-speaking children. Furthermore, the model predicts particular errors of tense and agreement will occur in Dutch but not English-speaking children. These predictions are confirmed. We also investigate how developmental data can help us to solve a problem concerning the interpretation of features in adult morphology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Cambridge, USA 2: University of Groningen

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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