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A Comparison of Null and Pronoun Anaphora in First Language Acquisition

  • Barbara Lust
  • Larry Solan
  • Suzanne Flynn
  • Catherine Cross
  • Elaine Schuetz
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 2)

Abstract

In this paper we report selected results of an experimental study of the acquisition of certain forms of anaphora in first language acquisition of English. The results of this study provide evidence that children who are acquiring English distinguish a phonetically realized pronoun with free anaphora from a null nominal category with bound anaphora in environments such as those shown in 1 and 2. At the same time, however, the data from this study provide evidence that at early language levels children apply general principles to constrain both null and pronoun anaphora similarly in these environments. Specifically (a) children generalize certain grammatical restrictions which hold on free pronoun anaphora as in 1 to hold also on bound null anaphora as in 2; and (b) they fail to observe certain grammatical restrictions which should hold on bound null anaphora as in 2 and not on pronoun anaphora as in 1.

Keywords

Language Acquisition Main Clause Subordinate Clause Comprehension Task Directionality Constraint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Lust
  • Larry Solan
  • Suzanne Flynn
  • Catherine Cross
  • Elaine Schuetz

There are no affiliations available

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