The acquisition of German relative clauses: a case study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brandt, S; Diessel, H; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • May 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 325 - 348

PubMed ID

  • 18416862

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18416862

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-7602

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0305-0009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0305000907008379

Language

  • eng