Modal verbs in Dutch first language acquisition

Children as young as 2 years old use modal verbs rather frequently in their spontaneous speech. But do these early modal verbs already have the same semantic, morphological, and syntactic characteristics as in adult speech? I answer this questions through the investigation of corpus data. Continuer

Dutch modal verbs, kunnen ('can'), moeten (‘must’), mogen (‘may’),
willen (‘will’/‘want’), zullen (‘shall’/‘will’), and hoeven (‘need’) are
complex, semantically, morphologically, and syntactically. Therefore,
one could expect that modals occur only rarely in early child language.
Surprisingly however, children as young as 2 years old use modal verbs
rather frequently in their spontaneous speech. But do these early modal
verbs already have the same semantic, morphological, and syntactic
characteristics as in adult speech? I answer this questions through
the investigation of corpus data, focusing on form and structure, and
through the analysis of experimental data, focusing on the meanings
of Dutch modals. Looking into the acquisition of modal verbs not only
gives insight in how children build complex utterances, but also in how
cognitive notions as necessity and possibility develop linguistically.


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Spécifications


Éditeur
Presses universitaires de Louvain
Auteur
Sara Jonkers,
Langue
anglais
Catégorie (éditeur)
Philosophie, lettres, linguistique et histoire > Langues, liguistique et littératures > anglais
Catégorie (éditeur)
Philosophie, lettres, linguistique et histoire > Langues, liguistique et littératures > neerlandais
Catégorie (éditeur)
Philosophie, lettres, linguistique et histoire > Langues, liguistique et littératures
Catégorie (éditeur)
Philosophie, lettres, linguistique et histoire
BISAC Subject Heading
LAN009000 LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics > LAN009060 LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax
Code publique Onix
06 Professional and scholarly
CLIL (Version 2013 )
3147 Linguistique, Sciences du langage > 3150 Morphologie et syntaxe
Date de première publication du titre
20 novembre 2015
Subject Scheme Identifier Code
Thema subject category: C
Thema subject category: CFK
Type d'ouvrage
Monographie

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Date de publication
20 novembre 2015
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978-2-87558-345-1
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Nombre de pages de contenu principal : 244
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D/2014/9964/47 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgique
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90622
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Details de produit
1 PDF
Date de publication
20 novembre 2015
ISBN-13
978-2-87558-346-8
Ampleur
Nombre de pages de contenu principal : 244
Dépôt Légal
D/2014/9964/47
Code interne
90622PDF
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14,00 €
ONIX XML
Version 2.1, Version 3

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Sommaire


1. Introduction ................................................................................................ 7
1.1. What is it all about ? ........................................................................... 7
1.2. What to expect in this book ? .............................................................. 9
1.3. Good to know .................................................................................... 10
2. Modality : Modal categories, expressions, and their acquisition ............ 12
2.1. Definition of modality ....................................................................... 12
2.1.1. Modality and subjectivity ........................................................ 13
2.1.2. Modality and non-factuality .................................................... 14
2.1.3. Necessity and possibility ......................................................... 15
2.2. Categorization of modality ................................................................ 16
2.2.1. Epistemic versus non-epistemic modality ............................... 16
2.2.2. Deontic versus dynamic modality ........................................... 18
2.2.3. Situational modality................................................................. 20
2.2.4. Other categories : evidentiality, volition, intention ................. 21
2.2.5. Schedule of modal meanings ................................................... 22
2.3. Expression of modality in Dutch....................................................... 23
2.3.1. Overview of modal expressions in Dutch ................................ 23
2.3.2. Modal verbs in Dutch .............................................................. 26
2.4. Acquisition of modality .................................................................... 37
2.4.1. Acquisition of modal meanings ............................................... 38
2.4.2. Acquisition of modal expressions ............................................ 41
2.4.3. Theoretical accounts for the acquisition of modality ............... 44
2.5. Summary and conclusion .................................................................. 50
3. Verbs : The Dutch verbal system and its acquisition .............................. 51
3.1. Finiteness in Dutch ........................................................................... 51
3.1.1. Inflectional morphology .......................................................... 52
3.1.2. Sentence position ..................................................................... 55
3.2. Verb combinations ............................................................................ 58
3.2.1. Tense auxiliaries ...................................................................... 58
3.2.2. Dummy auxiliaries .................................................................. 59
3.2.3. Modal verbs ............................................................................. 59
3.2.4. Schedule of verb combinations ................................................ 62
3.3. Acquisition of verbs, finiteness, and related aspects in Dutch .......... 64
Mo d a l ve r bs i n Dut c h f i r s t l a n g ua g e a cq u i s i t i o n
4
3.3.1. Different states in the acquisition of finiteness ....................... 64
3.3.2. Theoretical accounts for the acquisition of finiteness ............. 74
3.4. Summary and conclusion.................................................................. 82
4. Expectations and research questions ....................................................... 84
4.1. Expectations ..................................................................................... 84
4.1.1. First appearance and frequency of modal verbs / modal
meanings ................................................................................. 84
4.1.2. Form, structures, and contexts of modal verbs ........................ 85
4.2. Research questions ........................................................................... 86
4.3. How the questions will be investigated ............................................ 86
4.3.1. Corpus data ............................................................................. 86
4.3.2. Experimental data ................................................................... 87
5. Corpus study : General overview of modal verbs ................................... 88
5.1. Method.............................................................................................. 88
5.1.1. Corpus ..................................................................................... 88
5.1.2. General analysis ...................................................................... 90
5.2. Results : Overall sketch .................................................................... 92
5.2.1. Modal verbs : First appearance and frequency ........................ 92
5.2.2. Modal verbs versus hebben, zijn, and doen ............................. 97
5.2.3. Modal verbs in the input and in adult language ...................... 97
5.3. General overview : Summary and discussion ................................. 100
5.3.1. First appearance and frequency ............................................. 100
5.3.2. Differences between modal verbs ......................................... 101
5.4. Exploratory analysis of the meanings of modal verbs in child
language ........................................................................................ 102
5.4.1. Method .................................................................................. 102
5.4.2. Results : Meanings of modal verbs ....................................... 104
5.4.3. Exploratory semantic analysis : Summary and discussion .... 106
6. Corpus study : Forms, structures, and contexts of modal verbs ............ 109
6.1. Method............................................................................................ 109
6.1.1. Corpus ................................................................................... 109
6.1.2. In-depth analysis ................................................................... 111
6.1.3. Follow-up analyses ............................................................... 116
6.2. Results : Forms, structures, and contexts ........................................ 119
6.2.1. Finiteness and formal variety ................................................ 119
6.2.2. Syntactic structure and infinitive type ................................... 124
6.2.3. Contexts, constructs, and constructions ................................ 128
6.3. Forms, structures, and contexts : Summary and discussion ............ 132
Ta bl e of co n te n t s
5
6.3.1. Summary and discussion of the main results ......................... 132
6.3.2. Two directions of explanation ............................................... 136
7. Experimental study : Comprehension tasks .......................................... 138
7.1. Method ............................................................................................ 138
7.1.1. Subjects ................................................................................. 138
7.1.2. General testing procedure ...................................................... 139
7.1.3. Truth value judgment task ..................................................... 141
7.1.4. Picture selection task ............................................................. 145
7.2. Results experiment 1 : Truth value judgment task .......................... 149
7.2.1. Control data (adults) .............................................................. 149
7.2.2. Child data .............................................................................. 151
7.2.3. Comparison between child and control data .......................... 153
7.2.4. Correlation with age .............................................................. 155
7.2.5. Interactions ............................................................................ 156
7.3. Results experiment 2 : Picture selection task .................................. 161
7.3.1. Control data (adults) .............................................................. 161
7.3.2. Child data .............................................................................. 163
7.3.3. Correlation with age .............................................................. 165
7.4. Comprehension tasks : Summary and discussion ........................... 166
7.4.1. Summary and discussion of the main results ......................... 166
7.4.2. Two directions of explanation ............................................... 169
8. Experimental study : Production task ................................................... 173
8.1. Method ............................................................................................ 173
8.1.1. Subjects and general testing procedure.................................. 173
8.1.2. Story retelling task ................................................................. 173
8.2. Results experiment 3 : Story retelling task...................................... 179
8.2.1. Control data (adults) .............................................................. 179
8.2.2. Child data .............................................................................. 181
8.2.3. Comparison between child and control data .......................... 183
8.2.4. Correlations ........................................................................... 185
8.2.5. Interactions ............................................................................ 187
8.2.6. Characteristics of the modal verbs ......................................... 189
8.2.7. Excluded items : hoeven and zullen ....................................... 191
8.2.8. Alternative strategies ............................................................. 192
8.3. Production task : Summary and discussion ..................................... 198
8.3.1. Summary and discussion of the main results ......................... 198
8.3.2. Two directions of explanation ............................................... 202
Mo d a l ve r bs i n Dut c h f i r s t l a n g ua g e a cq u i s i t i o n
6
9. General discussion ................................................................................. 205
9.1. Research answers............................................................................ 205
9.1.1. General overview of modal verbs in Dutch child language .. 205
9.1.2. Formal, syntactic, and contextual characteristics of modal verbs
in child language ................................................................... 206
9.1.3. Meanings of modal verbs in child language .......................... 207
9.2. Back to the expectations ................................................................. 208
9.2.1. Form and structure of modal verbs ....................................... 208
9.2.2. Meanings of modal verbs ...................................................... 209
9.3. A broader perspective ..................................................................... 211
References ...................................................................................................... 214
Appendix ...................................................................................................... 229
A: Truth value judgment task: test material ................................................ 229
B: Picture selection task: test material ........................................................ 233
C: Story retelling task: test material ............................................................ 235


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