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Constructing verb paradigms in French: adult construals and emerging grammatical contrasts

Authors
  • Clark, Eve V.1
  • de Marneffe, Marie-Catherine1
  • 1 Stanford University, Department of Linguistics, Margaret Jacks Hall – Bldg 460, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA , Stanford (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Morphology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2012
Volume
22
Issue
1
Pages
89–120
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11525-011-9193-6
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Children acquiring French at first use just one form of each verb, where the meaning identifies only the event-type. How and when do they add additional forms, with the appropriate meanings? In this paper, we explore the information available to children from adult reformulations of these early verb-form uses, and show how adult construals contribute to children’s learning to distinguish between the homophonous infinitival (donner ‘give-Inf’) and participial (donné ‘give-PP’) forms, both /done/, of class 1 verbs. We argue that conversational exchanges, with the construals adults contribute, enable children to differentiate the meanings of homophonous forms, and so begin to construct verb paradigms.

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