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Syntactic development, its input and output$
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Anat Ninio

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565962.001.0001

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(p.81) Chapter 3 Verbs
Syntactic development, its input and output

Anat Ninio

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the verb repertoires used by parents and by children to generate tokens of core grammar. In parents and young children 98% of the tokens in the clausal core are generated by monosyllabic verbs, and 96% by verbs of native, Anglo-Saxon origin. Although polysyllabic verbs or verbs of Latinate origin are also used by parents, their combined weight in the token count is very slight. Children selectively use almost only the monosyllabic, native subset of the repertoire modelled by parents, apparently increasing thereby the morphophonetic and semantic simplicity of their verbs. Interestingly, the type differences do not affect the distribution of tokens by syllable length and origin in the two corpora, a statistic that again shows an identity in input and output.

Keywords:   verb repertoire, parental speech, child speech, core grammar, polysyllabic verbs, monosyllabic verbs

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