Competition all the way down: How children learn word order cues to sentence meaning
Oxford : Oxford University Press
InMacWhinney, B.; Malchukov, A.; Moravcsik, E. (ed.), Competing motivations in grammar and usage, pp. 127-143
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MacWhinney, B.; Malchukov, A.; Moravcsik, E. (ed.), Competing motivations in grammar and usage
Most work on competing cues in language acquisition has focused on what happens when cues compete within a certain construction. There has been far less work on what happens when constructions themselves compete. This chapter aims to explore how the acquisition mechanism copes when constructions compete in a language. It presents three experimental studies, all of which focus on the acquisition of the syntactic function of word order as a marker of the Theme-Recipient relation in ditransitives. It concludes that there is not only competition between cues but competition between constructions from the very beginning of the language acquisition process.
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