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Cambridge Studies in Linguistics : The Acquisition of Complex Sentences Series Number 105 - Holger Diessel

Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

The Acquisition of Complex Sentences Series Number 105


Published: 4th October 2004
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This book presents the first comprehensive study of how children acquire complex sentences. Drawing on observational data from English-speaking children aged 2 to 5, Holger Diessel investigates the acquisition of infinitival and participial complement clauses, finite complement clauses, finite and nonfinite relative clauses, adverbial clauses, and coordinate clauses. His investigation shows that the development of complex sentences originates from simple non-embedded sentences and that two different developmental pathways can be distinguished: complex sentences including complement and relative clauses evolve from simple sentences that are gradually expanded to multiple-clause constructions, and complex sentences including adverbial and coordinate clauses develop from simple sentences that are integrated in a specific biclausal unit. He argues that the acquisition process is determined by a variety of factors: the frequency of the various complex sentences in the ambient language, the semantic and syntactic complexity of the emerging constructions, the communicative functions of complex sentences, and the social-cognitive development of the child.

Introductionp. 1
A dynamic network model of grammatical constructionsp. 13
Towards a definition of complex sentences and subordinate clausesp. 41
Infinitival and participial complement constructionsp. 49
Complement clausesp. 77
Relative clausesp. 116
Adverbial and co-ordinate clausesp. 149
Conclusionp. 174
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521831932
ISBN-10: 0521831938
Series: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 244
Published: 4th October 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.52