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    Rights statement: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=JCL The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Child Language, 35 (2), pp 325-348 2008, © 2008 Cambridge University Press.

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The acquisition of German relative clauses: A case study

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Child Language
Issue number2
Volume35
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)325-348
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper investigates the development of relative clauses in the speech of one German-speaking child aged 2;0 to 5;0. The earliest relative clauses we found in the data occur in topicalization constructions that are only a little different from simple sentences: they contain a single proposition, express the actor prior to other participants, assert new information and often occur with main-clause word order. In the course of the development, more complex relative constructions emerge, in which the relative clause is embedded in a fully-fledged main clause. We argue that German relative clauses develop in an incremental fashion from simple non-embedded sentences that gradually evolve into complex sentence constructions.

Bibliographic note

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=JCL The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Child Language, 35 (2), pp 325-348 2008, © 2008 Cambridge University Press.