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The acquisition of German relative clauses Holger Diessel (Uni Jena) Silke Brandt (MPI Leipzig)

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Präsentation zum Thema: "The acquisition of German relative clauses Holger Diessel (Uni Jena) Silke Brandt (MPI Leipzig)"—  Präsentation transkript:

1 The acquisition of German relative clauses Holger Diessel (Uni Jena) Silke Brandt (MPI Leipzig)

2 Early relative clauses in English Heres a tiger that s gonna scare him. This is the sugar that goes in there. This is the horse sleeping in a cradle, their bed. Deres was a kitty walking by.

3 The development of relative clauses in other languages Spanish (Dasinger & Toupin 1994) Hebrew (Dasinger & Toupin 1994) French (Hudelot 1980) Indonesian (Hermon 2005) Hypothesis: The development of relative clauses follows a general cross-linguistic pattern.

4 The acquisition of Japanese relative clauses (Ozeki & Shirai 2005) The development of Japanese relative clauses does not follow the pattern. Hypothesis: The development of postnominal relative clauses follows a general cross-linguistic path. Japanese has prenominal relative clauses. Since prenominal relative clauses are processed differently, they may develop along a different path.

5 Structure of German relative clauses German has postnominal relative clauses. German uses a different relativization strategy. The word order of German relative clauses is different from the word order of main clauses. The final position of the verb is seen as a sign of subordination. Hypothesis: If children acquire relative clauses based on their previous knowledge of main clauses, the earliest German relative clauses may occur with main clause word order.

6 Structure of German subordinate clauses Subordinate clauses serve a particular syntactic function in the main clause. Subordinate clauses include a subordinate conjunction or relative pronoun. Subordinate clauses typically provide background information, or information that is pragmatically presupposed. Can V2-constructions be seen as relative clauses?

7 Structure of German subordinate clauses Prototypical subordinate clauses have all of these features, but there are many constructions that carry only some of them. Ich denke mal, dass wir das schon richtig gemacht haben. Er behauptet, das ist nicht richtig. Ich schreibe das Paper, weil ich ja sonst nichts zu tun habe. Ich gehe dort hin, obwohl eigentlich wäre ich lieber hier.

8 Structure of German relative clauses Er gehört zu denen, die das nie tun würden, auch wenn sie dazu das Recht hätten. (1)Da ist Michael, der mir gestern geholfen hat. (2)Da ist Michael, der hat mir gestern geholfen.

9 Data ageutterancesrelative clauses 2;0 – 2;577,87092 (0.12%) 2;6 – 2;1155, (0.55%) 3;0 – 3;513,42990 (0.67%) 3;6 – 3;1111,57496 (0.82%) 4;0 – 4;1122, (0.86%) Total (0.43%)

10 Coding: Word order (1)Der Mann, der Peter geholfen hat.V-final (2)Der Mann, der hat Peter geholfen.V-second (3)Der Mann, der schläft.ambiguous

11 Coding: Head (1)Der Mann, der dir geholfen hat, heißt Müller.SUBJ (2)Peter kennt den Mann, der dir geholfen hat.OBJ (3)Er spricht mit dem Mann, der dir geholfen hat.OBL (4)Der Mann, der dir geholfen hat.NP (5)Das ist der Mann, der dir geholfen hat.PN

12 Coding: relativized role (1)Der Mann, der uns gesehen hat.SUBJ (2)Der Mann, den wir gesehen haben.OBJ (3)Der Mann, dem wir das Buch gegeben haben.IO (4)Der Mann, mit dem wir gesprochen haben.OBL (5)Der Mann, dessen Frau uns gesehen hat.GEN

13 Results: Word order (1)Ein Wal, der hat Zahnschmerzen. (2)Wo ist ein Wal, der Zahnschmerzen hat? (1)Im Schlangenhaus ist sicher auch einer dabei, der passt auf. (2)Im Schlangenhaus ist auch jemand, der aufpasst.

14 Results: Word order

15 Results: Head

16

17 CHI:Ähm, dafür kriegt sie die Scheibe. MOT:Sie will die Glocke. CHI:Nein, sagt diese. CHI:Nee, ich legs einfach mal hin. MOT:Leo. CHI:Nein, die Scheibe. MOT:Es ist Wilhelmines Glöckchen. CHI:Die Scheibe. CHI:Ne Scheibe, die kann man auch darunter rollen.

18 Results: Head

19 Results: Relativized role

20

21 The man whokissedthe womanSUBJ AGENTVERBPATIENT The man whothe womankissedOBJ PATIENTAGENTVERB Der Mann, derdie Fraugeküsst hatSUBJ AGENTPATIENTVERB Der Mann, dendie Fraugeküsst hatOBJ PATIENTAGENTVERB

22 Results: Relativized role

23 (1)Die Biene, die holt ein Mittagessen.SUBJ (2)… den Kuchen, den du gebacken hast.OBJ (3)Dieses Haus, wo die Leute wohnen.OBL

24 Conclusion Leos early relative clauses carry the following features: They are attached to an isolated head noun. They occur with the finite verb in second position. They contain an anaphoric pronoun in nominative case. They typically assert new information.

25 Conclusion The topicalization constructions are only little different from simple main clauses: They include a single verb. They occur with the finite verb in second position. They denote the agent prior to other participants. They typically provide new information. Since V2-relatives have properties of both main and relative clauses, they help the child to bridge the gap between their early simple sentences and more complex relative constructions.

26 Conclusion The development of Leos relative clauses is similar to the development of relative clauses in English. In both languages, children acquire relative clauses in an incremental fashion. The development of German relative clauses supports the hypothesis that postnominal relative clauses develop along similar pathways across languages.

27 Conclusion Ozeki & Shirai (2005): Early Japanese relative clauses include a stative verb and are attached to a generic head noun: Yekikkinumkeetiisse? hereinsertthingwhereexist Where is the thing that is inserted here

28 Conclusion The development of Japanese relative clauses can be seen as an extension of adjectival modification. (Ozeki & Shirai 2005) wordclause Noun modification in Japanese Since adjectives do not express full propositions, Japanese relative clauses develop from structures that semantically function as simple sentences.

29 Conclusion Hypothesis: The incremental development of relative clauses from simple sentences is characteristic of the acquisition of relative clauses across different language types.


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