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A comparison of Norwegian and Spanish L1 acquisition of possessive constructions

  • Antonio FábregasEmail author
  • Merete Anderssen
  • Marit Westergaard
Original Paper
  • 26 Downloads

Abstract

In language acquisition studies, there is a recurring debate regarding how to account for non-target-consistent utterances produced by young children. Anderssen and Westergaard (Lingua 120:2569–2588, 2010) study the acquisition of Norwegian possessives, which may be pre- or postnominal, and find that children overuse prenominal possessives, even though they are considerably less frequent than postnominal ones in the input. The current study investigates Spanish possessive structures, which may also appear with two word orders, and finds that postnominal possessives are occasionally overused by young children, even though they are extremely low in frequency (3%). In this article, we discuss two possible explanations for the non-target-consistent behavior of Norwegian and Spanish children, related to economy of syntactic movement and the nature of the possessives themselves in terms of strong/weak pronouns or clitics.

Keywords

Possessives Spanish Norwegian Frequency Complexity Economy 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the editors of this special issue and to three anonymous reviewers for comments and suggestions that have greatly improved the final version. All disclaimers apply.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Fábregas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Merete Anderssen
    • 1
  • Marit Westergaard
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Language and Culture, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and EducationUiT-The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Department of Language and Literature, Faculty of HumanitiesNTNU – Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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