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Week 2b. Root infinitives CAS LX 500A1 Topics in Linguistics: Language Acquisition.

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1 Week 2b. Root infinitives CAS LX 500A1 Topics in Linguistics: Language Acquisition

2 Syntax 101 Initially, children start off producing basically one- word utterances. Initially, children start off producing basically one- word utterances. Though not impossible (comprehension), it is difficult to conclude much about syntactic knowledge at this stage. Though not impossible (comprehension), it is difficult to conclude much about syntactic knowledge at this stage. Somewhere around one and a half years, kids will start putting words together: Syntax… of a sort. Somewhere around one and a half years, kids will start putting words together: Syntax… of a sort. Papa have it (Eve 1;6) Papa have it (Eve 1;6) Marie go. (Sarah 2;3) Marie go. (Sarah 2;3) Eve gone (Eve 1;6) Eve gone (Eve 1;6) Eve cracking nut. (Eve 1;7) Eve cracking nut. (Eve 1;7) Kitty hiding (2;10) Kitty hiding (2;10) Fraser not see him (Eve 2;0) Fraser not see him (Eve 2;0)

3 Eve talk funny This is recognizably related to English, and even comprehensible, but it’s not the way adults talk. This is recognizably related to English, and even comprehensible, but it’s not the way adults talk. 3sg -s often missing. 3sg -s often missing. Past tense -ed often missing. Past tense -ed often missing. Auxiliaries have, do, and be often missing. Auxiliaries have, do, and be often missing. In general, it seems like the grammatical (functional) bits that are missing. Actually, it’s kind of specific type of functional bit. In general, it seems like the grammatical (functional) bits that are missing. Actually, it’s kind of specific type of functional bit.

4 My need tea The things that seem to be missing are actually things that all were considered part of “INFL” (a.k.a. “I”, a.k.a. “T”). Tense and subject agreement. The things that seem to be missing are actually things that all were considered part of “INFL” (a.k.a. “I”, a.k.a. “T”). Tense and subject agreement. Even if syntactic theory has gone on to the view that there are multiple functional heads there (AgrSP, TP, AgrOP), it’s still the functional part of the tree (vs. lexical). Even if syntactic theory has gone on to the view that there are multiple functional heads there (AgrSP, TP, AgrOP), it’s still the functional part of the tree (vs. lexical).

5 Small Clause Hypothesis A very natural suggestion to make about kids’ syntax at this stage is that it lacks the functional layers of structure. A very natural suggestion to make about kids’ syntax at this stage is that it lacks the functional layers of structure. The sentences are “small clauses”—just the VP, and the NP. The sentences are “small clauses”—just the VP, and the NP. Various people have run with this idea. For example, Radford, Vainikka. Various people have run with this idea. For example, Radford, Vainikka. “Structure building” approach to acquisition of syntax. “Structure building” approach to acquisition of syntax.

6 Small Clause Hypothesis Radford (1990, 1995), Early Child English Radford (1990, 1995), Early Child English Kids’ syntax differs from adults’ syntax: Kids’ syntax differs from adults’ syntax: kids use only lexical (not functional) elements kids use only lexical (not functional) elements structural sisters in kids’ trees always have a  - relation between them. structural sisters in kids’ trees always have a  - relation between them. VP “Small Clause NP  V’Hypothesis” man V  NP chase car VP “Small Clause NP  V’Hypothesis” man V  NP chase car

7 Small Clause Hypothesis Adults:CP—IP—VP Adults:CP—IP—VP Kids:VP adult syntax ≠ child syntax Kids:VP adult syntax ≠ child syntax Absence of evidence for IP: Absence of evidence for IP: No modals (repeating, kids drop them) No modals (repeating, kids drop them) No auxiliaries (Mommy doing dinner) No auxiliaries (Mommy doing dinner) No productive use of tense & agreement (Baby ride truck, Mommy go, Daddy sleep) No productive use of tense & agreement (Baby ride truck, Mommy go, Daddy sleep) Absence of evidence for CP: Absence of evidence for CP: no complementizers (that, for, if) no complementizers (that, for, if) no preposed auxiliary (car go?) no preposed auxiliary (car go?) no wh-movement (imitating where does it go? yields go?; spontaneous: mouse doing?) no wh-movement (imitating where does it go? yields go?; spontaneous: mouse doing?) kids bad at comprehending wh-object questions (out of canonical order). (—What are you doing? —No.) kids bad at comprehending wh-object questions (out of canonical order). (—What are you doing? —No.)

8 Small Clause Hypothesis Adults:CP—IP—VP Adults:CP—IP—VP Kids:VP adult syntax ≠ child syntax Kids:VP adult syntax ≠ child syntax Absence of evidence for DP: Absence of evidence for DP: no non-  elements no non-  elements no expletives (raining, outside cold) no expletives (raining, outside cold) no of before noun complements of nouns (cup tea) no of before noun complements of nouns (cup tea) Few determiners (Hayley draw boat, want duck, reading book) Few determiners (Hayley draw boat, want duck, reading book) No possessive ’s, which may be a D. No possessive ’s, which may be a D. No pronouns, which are probably D. No pronouns, which are probably D. See also Vainikka (1993/4) for a similar proposal. See also Vainikka (1993/4) for a similar proposal.

9 To sleep little baby Turns out kids talk funny around this time in lots of languages. A particularly popular funny way to talk is to use infinitives. Turns out kids talk funny around this time in lots of languages. A particularly popular funny way to talk is to use infinitives. Danish: køre bil ‘drive[inf] car’ Danish: køre bil ‘drive[inf] car’ German: Thorstn das habn ‘T that have inf ’ German: Thorstn das habn ‘T that have inf ’ French: Dormir petit bébé ‘sleep inf little baby’ French: Dormir petit bébé ‘sleep inf little baby’ Dutch: Earst kleine boekje lezen ‘first little book read inf ’ Dutch: Earst kleine boekje lezen ‘first little book read inf ’ Further evidence for missing functional projections? Further evidence for missing functional projections?

10 Sleeps baby Well, but maybe not. At the very same time as they’re using these superfluously infinitive verbs, they are also using finite verbs. Well, but maybe not. At the very same time as they’re using these superfluously infinitive verbs, they are also using finite verbs. Well, yeah, sure, but they hear finite verbs. But they don’t have the clause-structural support for it yet (so they don’t know the verbs are finite or not—that’s information one gets from INFL). It’s just that you can pronounce ‘sleep’ either as dort (sleeps) or as dormir (sleep). Right? Yes? Well, yeah, sure, but they hear finite verbs. But they don’t have the clause-structural support for it yet (so they don’t know the verbs are finite or not—that’s information one gets from INFL). It’s just that you can pronounce ‘sleep’ either as dort (sleeps) or as dormir (sleep). Right? Yes? Well, it’s easy to check. See if they can tell the difference. See if they make errors—finite verbs come in various kinds, do they use 1st person agreement when they should have used 3rd? Well, it’s easy to check. See if they can tell the difference. See if they make errors—finite verbs come in various kinds, do they use 1st person agreement when they should have used 3rd?

11 Do kids get I/T? Radford points out that the overt realization of I (T) is often missing (morphology, modals, auxiliaries). Radford points out that the overt realization of I (T) is often missing (morphology, modals, auxiliaries). But is it random? Are kids just arbitrarily using tense morphology when they do? But is it random? Are kids just arbitrarily using tense morphology when they do? When tense is there, does it act like tense would for an adult? When tense is there, does it act like tense would for an adult? Do kids differentiate between tensed and infinitive verbs, or are these just memorized Vs at this point? Do kids differentiate between tensed and infinitive verbs, or are these just memorized Vs at this point? If kids differentiate between tensed and infinitive verbs, there must be some grammatical representation of tense. If kids differentiate between tensed and infinitive verbs, there must be some grammatical representation of tense.

12 Adult German Poeppel & Wexler (1993). Data: Andreas (2;1, from CHILDES). Poeppel & Wexler (1993). Data: Andreas (2;1, from CHILDES). Adult German is SOV, V2 Adult German is SOV, V2 The finite verb (or auxiliary or modal) is the second constituent in main clauses, following some constituent (subject, object, or adverbial). The finite verb (or auxiliary or modal) is the second constituent in main clauses, following some constituent (subject, object, or adverbial). In embedded clauses, the finite verb is final. In embedded clauses, the finite verb is final. V2 comes about by moving the finite verb to (head-initial) C. V2 comes about by moving the finite verb to (head-initial) C.

13 German clause structure This “second position” is generally thought to be C, where something else (like the subject, or any other XP) needs to appear in SpecCP. This “second position” is generally thought to be C, where something else (like the subject, or any other XP) needs to appear in SpecCP. This only happens with finite verbs. Nonfinite verbs remain at the end of the sentence (after the object). This only happens with finite verbs. Nonfinite verbs remain at the end of the sentence (after the object). — I IP DP V VP kaufteHans C+I C CP — — den Ball

14 German clause structure Things other than subjects can appear in “first position”. Things other than subjects can appear in “first position”. When the tense appears on an auxiliary, the verb stays in place. When the tense appears on an auxiliary, the verb stays in place. hat I IP DP V VP gekaufte den Ball C+I C CP — Hans V

15 What to look for in Child German Poeppel & Wexler found that Andreas will sometimes use a finite verb, sometimes a nonfinite verb. Poeppel & Wexler found that Andreas will sometimes use a finite verb, sometimes a nonfinite verb. In adult German: finite verbs move to 2nd position, nonfinite verbs are clause-final. In adult German: finite verbs move to 2nd position, nonfinite verbs are clause-final. Does this also happen in kid German? Does this also happen in kid German? Look for a correlation between finiteness and verb position: Look for a correlation between finiteness and verb position: ich mach das nichdu das haben I do that notyou that have

16 Results There is a strong contingency. There is a strong contingency. Conclude: the finiteness distinction is made correctly (at the earliest observable stage). Conclude: the finiteness distinction is made correctly (at the earliest observable stage). Conclude: children do represent tense. Conclude: children do represent tense. Andreas: 33 finite, 37 nonfinite verbs. 8 in both: finite, V2; nonfinite final. Remaining verbs show no clear semantic core that one might attribute the distribution to. Andreas: 33 finite, 37 nonfinite verbs. 8 in both: finite, V2; nonfinite final. Remaining verbs show no clear semantic core that one might attribute the distribution to. +finite-finite V2, not final1976 V final, not V21137

17 Verb positioning = functional categories In adult German, V2 comes from V  I  C. In adult German, V2 comes from V  I  C. If we can see non-subjects to the left of finite verbs, we know we have at least one functional projection (above the subject, in whose Spec the first position non- subject goes). If we can see non-subjects to the left of finite verbs, we know we have at least one functional projection (above the subject, in whose Spec the first position non- subject goes). F FP Subject V VP Object F+V ——

18 Is it really V2 (not SVO)? V2 (German) is different from SVO in that the preverbal constituent need not be the subject. V2 (German) is different from SVO in that the preverbal constituent need not be the subject. Is Andreas really using adult-like V2 (not SVO)? Is Andreas really using adult-like V2 (not SVO)? Look at what’s preverbal: Look at what’s preverbal: Usually subject, not a big surprise. Usually subject, not a big surprise. But 19 objects before finite V2 (of 197 cases, 180 with overt subjects) But 19 objects before finite V2 (of 197 cases, 180 with overt subjects) And 31 adverbs before finite V2 And 31 adverbs before finite V2 Conclude: Kids basically seem to be acting like adults; their V2 is the same V2 that adults use. Conclude: Kids basically seem to be acting like adults; their V2 is the same V2 that adults use.

19 Full Competence Hypothesis (Poeppel & Wexler 1993) The morphosyntactic properties associated with finiteness and attributable to the availability of functional categories (notably head movement) are in place. The morphosyntactic properties associated with finiteness and attributable to the availability of functional categories (notably head movement) are in place. The best model of the child data is the standard analysis of adult German (functional projections and all). The one exception: The best model of the child data is the standard analysis of adult German (functional projections and all). The one exception: Grammatical Infinitive Hypothesis: Grammatical Infinitive Hypothesis: Matrix sentences with (clause-final) infinitives are a legitimate structure in child German grammar. Matrix sentences with (clause-final) infinitives are a legitimate structure in child German grammar.

20 CP The Full Competence Hypothesis says not only that functional categories exist, but that the child has access to the same functional categories that the adult does. The Full Competence Hypothesis says not only that functional categories exist, but that the child has access to the same functional categories that the adult does. In particular, CP should be there too. In particular, CP should be there too. Predicts what we’ve seen: Predicts what we’ve seen: finite verbs are in second position only (modulo topic drop leaving them in first position) finite verbs are in second position only (modulo topic drop leaving them in first position) nonfinite verbs are in final position only nonfinite verbs are in final position only subjects, objects, adverbs may all precede a finite verb in second position. subjects, objects, adverbs may all precede a finite verb in second position.

21 Comparing FCH to SCH SCH (Radford, et al.) pointed to lack of morphological evidence for CP. SCH (Radford, et al.) pointed to lack of morphological evidence for CP. But they also tend not to use embedded clauses. Which causes which? But they also tend not to use embedded clauses. Which causes which? But P&W showed syntactic evidence for a functional category (V2 with finite verbs) to which V moves. Adults use CP for this. But P&W showed syntactic evidence for a functional category (V2 with finite verbs) to which V moves. Adults use CP for this. finite verb is second finite verb is second non-subjects can be first non-subjects can be first “Absence of evidence ≠ evidence of absence.” “Absence of evidence ≠ evidence of absence.” Andreas uses agreement correctly when he uses it—adults use IP for that. Andreas uses agreement correctly when he uses it—adults use IP for that.

22 Is it really CP and IP? Or just FP? Can we get away with only one functional category? Can we get away with only one functional category? The word order seems to be generable this way so long as F is to the left of VP. The word order seems to be generable this way so long as F is to the left of VP. subject can stay in SpecVP subject can stay in SpecVP V moves to F V moves to F non-subject could move to SpecFP. non-subject could move to SpecFP. …though people tend to believe that IP in German is head-final (that is, German is head- final except for CP). How do kids learn to put I on the right once they develop CP? …though people tend to believe that IP in German is head-final (that is, German is head- final except for CP). How do kids learn to put I on the right once they develop CP?

23 Is it really CP and IP? Empirical argument for CP & IP: Empirical argument for CP & IP: negation and adverbs mark the left edge of VP. negation and adverbs mark the left edge of VP. A subject in SpecVP (i.e. when a non-subject is topicalized) should occur to the right of such elements (if there’s just an FP). A subject in SpecVP (i.e. when a non-subject is topicalized) should occur to the right of such elements (if there’s just an FP). So, look for non-subject-initial sentences with negations or an(other) adverb. So, look for non-subject-initial sentences with negations or an(other) adverb. There were 8 that matched the criteria. There were 8 that matched the criteria. All eight have the subject to the left of the adverb/negation: All eight have the subject to the left of the adverb/negation: [ CP Object C+I+V [ IP Subject [ VP neg/adv t Subj t V ] t I ]] [ CP Object C+I+V [ IP Subject [ VP neg/adv t Subj t V ] t I ]]

24 Kid structures Hypothesis: Kids have full knowledge of the principles and processes and constraints of grammar. Their representations can be basically adult-like. Hypothesis: Kids have full knowledge of the principles and processes and constraints of grammar. Their representations can be basically adult-like. But kids seem to optionally allow infinitives as matrix verbs (which they grow out of). But kids seem to optionally allow infinitives as matrix verbs (which they grow out of). (And when they use an infinitive, it acts like an infinitive.) (And when they use an infinitive, it acts like an infinitive.) What’s happening when kids use an infinitive? What’s happening when kids use an infinitive?

25 Harris & Wexler (1996) Child English bare stems as “OIs”? Child English bare stems as “OIs”? In the present, only morphology is 3sg -s. In the present, only morphology is 3sg -s. Bare stem isn’t unambiguously an infinitive form. Bare stem isn’t unambiguously an infinitive form. No word order correlate to finiteness. No word order correlate to finiteness. OIs are clearer in better inflected languages. Does English do this too? Or is it different? OIs are clearer in better inflected languages. Does English do this too? Or is it different? Hypotheses: Hypotheses: Kids don’t “get” inflection yet; go and goes are basically homonyms. Kids don’t “get” inflection yet; go and goes are basically homonyms. These are OIs, the -s is correlated with something systematic about the child syntax. These are OIs, the -s is correlated with something systematic about the child syntax.

26 Harris & Wexler (1996) Hypothesis: RIs occur when T is missing from the structure (the rest being intact). Hypothesis: RIs occur when T is missing from the structure (the rest being intact). Experiment: Explore something that should be a consequence of having T in the structure: do support. Experiment: Explore something that should be a consequence of having T in the structure: do support. Rationale: Rationale: Main verbs do not move in English. Main verbs do not move in English. Without a modal or auxiliary, T is stranded: The verb -ed not move. Without a modal or auxiliary, T is stranded: The verb -ed not move. Do is inserted to save T. Do is inserted to save T. Predicts: No T, no do insertion. Predicts: No T, no do insertion.

27 Harris & Wexler (1996) Empirically, we expect: Empirically, we expect: She go She go She goes She goes She not go (no T, no do) She not go (no T, no do) She doesn’t go (adult, T and do) She doesn’t go (adult, T and do) but never but never She not goes (evidence of T, yet no do). She not goes (evidence of T, yet no do). Note: All should be options if kids don’t “get” inflection. Note: All should be options if kids don’t “get” inflection.

28 Harris & Wexler (1996) Looked at 10 kids from 1;6 to 4;1 Looked at 10 kids from 1;6 to 4;1 Adam, Eve, Sara (Brown), Nina (Suppes), Abe (Kuczaj), Naomi (Sachs), Shem (Clark), April (Higginson), Nathaniel (Snow). Adam, Eve, Sara (Brown), Nina (Suppes), Abe (Kuczaj), Naomi (Sachs), Shem (Clark), April (Higginson), Nathaniel (Snow). Counted sentences… Counted sentences… with no or not before the verb with no or not before the verb without a modal auxiliary without a modal auxiliary with unambiguous 3sg subjects with unambiguous 3sg subjects with either -s or -ed as inflected. with either -s or -ed as inflected.

29 Harris & Wexler (1996) Affirmative: Affirmative: 43% inflected 43% inflected Negative: Negative: < 10% inflected < 10% inflected It not works Mom It not works Mom no N. has a microphone no N. has a microphone no goes in there no goes in there but the horse not stand ups but the horse not stand ups no goes here! no goes here! affneg -inflec inflec5945

30 Harris & Wexler (1996) Small numbers, but in the right direction. Small numbers, but in the right direction. Generalization: Considering cases with no auxiliary, kids inflect about half the time normally, but almost never (up to performance errors) inflect in the negative. Generalization: Considering cases with no auxiliary, kids inflect about half the time normally, but almost never (up to performance errors) inflect in the negative. If presence vs. absence of T is basically independent of whether the sentence is negative, we expect to find do in negatives about as often as we see inflection in affirmatives. If presence vs. absence of T is basically independent of whether the sentence is negative, we expect to find do in negatives about as often as we see inflection in affirmatives. Also, basically true: 37% vs. 34% in the pre-2;6 group, 73% vs. 61% in the post-2;6 group. Also, basically true: 37% vs. 34% in the pre-2;6 group, 73% vs. 61% in the post-2;6 group.

31 Harris & Wexler (1996) When kids inflect for tense, do they inflect for the tense they mean? When kids inflect for tense, do they inflect for the tense they mean? (Note: a nontrivial margin of error…) (Note: a nontrivial margin of error…) Inflected verbs overwhelmingly in the right context. Inflected verbs overwhelmingly in the right context. presentpastfuture bare stem s ed101680

32 Harris & Wexler (1996) Last, an elicitation experiment contrasting affirmative, never (no T dependence for adults), and not. Last, an elicitation experiment contrasting affirmative, never (no T dependence for adults), and not. Does the cow always go in the barn, or does she never go? Does the cow always go in the barn, or does she never go? Does the cow go in the barn or does she not go in the barn? Does the cow go in the barn or does she not go in the barn? Do you think he always goes or do you think he never goes? Do you think he always goes or do you think he never goes? Do you think that he goes, or don’t you think that he goes? Do you think that he goes, or don’t you think that he goes? Processing load? Extra load of not alleviated by leaving off the -s? If that’s the case, we’d expect never and not to behave the same way—in fact, never might be harder, just because it’s longer (and trigger more -s drops). Processing load? Extra load of not alleviated by leaving off the -s? If that’s the case, we’d expect never and not to behave the same way—in fact, never might be harder, just because it’s longer (and trigger more -s drops).

33 Harris & Wexler (1996) Affirmatives inflected often, not inflected rarely, never sort of inbetween. Affirmatives inflected often, not inflected rarely, never sort of inbetween. Looking at the results in terms of whether the question was inflected: Looking at the results in terms of whether the question was inflected: Kids overall tended to use inflection when there was inflection in the question. Kids overall tended to use inflection when there was inflection in the question. When the stimulus contained an -s: When the stimulus contained an -s: affirmative: 15 vs. 7 (68% had an -s) affirmative: 15 vs. 7 (68% had an -s) never: 14 vs. 16 (48%) never: 14 vs. 16 (48%) not: 4 vs. 12 (25%)—quite a bit lower. not: 4 vs. 12 (25%)—quite a bit lower.

34 An alternative to missing T Much of what we’ve seen so far could also be explained if kids sometimes use a null modal element: Much of what we’ve seen so far could also be explained if kids sometimes use a null modal element: Idea:I want to eat pizza. I will eat pizza. Idea:I want to eat pizza. I will eat pizza. RI?I want to eat pizza. I will eat pizza. RI?I want to eat pizza. I will eat pizza. First question: why modals? First question: why modals? Second, they don’t (always) seem to mean what they should if there is a null modal. 20/37 seem to be clearly non-modal (according to P&W93). Second, they don’t (always) seem to mean what they should if there is a null modal. 20/37 seem to be clearly non-modal (according to P&W93). Thorsten Ball haben (T already has the ball) Thorsten Ball haben (T already has the ball)

35 Modal drop Can we test this another way? What are the properties of adult modals? Can we test this another way? What are the properties of adult modals? Adult modals are in position 2, regardless of what is in position 1. If kids are dropping modals, we should expect a certain proportion of the dropped modals to appear with a non-subject in position 1. Adult modals are in position 2, regardless of what is in position 1. If kids are dropping modals, we should expect a certain proportion of the dropped modals to appear with a non-subject in position 1. But none occur—nonfinite verbs also seem to come with initial subjects. But none occur—nonfinite verbs also seem to come with initial subjects. Why? Well, if V2 is a) movement of V to T to C, and b) “topicalization” of something to SpecCP; and, if this is triggered by V reaching C: There’s no need to move anything to SpecCP if V remains unmoved. The subject remains first. Why? Well, if V2 is a) movement of V to T to C, and b) “topicalization” of something to SpecCP; and, if this is triggered by V reaching C: There’s no need to move anything to SpecCP if V remains unmoved. The subject remains first.

36 Modal drop Just to be sure (since the numbers are small), P&W check to make sure they would have expected non-subjects in position 1 with nonfinite verbs if the modal drop hypothesis were true. Just to be sure (since the numbers are small), P&W check to make sure they would have expected non-subjects in position 1 with nonfinite verbs if the modal drop hypothesis were true. 17% of the verbs are infinitives 17% of the verbs are infinitives 20% of the (finite) time we had non-subject topicalization 20% of the (finite) time we had non-subject topicalization So 3% of the time (20% of 17%) we would expect non-subject topicalization in nonfinite contexts. So 3% of the time (20% of 17%) we would expect non-subject topicalization in nonfinite contexts. Of 251 sentences, we would have expected 8. Of 251 sentences, we would have expected 8. We saw none. We saw none.

37 Two hypotheses about learning (Wexler 1998) VEPS (very early parameter setting) Basic parameters are set correctly at the earliest observable stages, that is, at least from the time that the child enters the two- word stage around 18 months of age. VEPS (very early parameter setting) Basic parameters are set correctly at the earliest observable stages, that is, at least from the time that the child enters the two- word stage around 18 months of age. VEKI (very early knowledge of inflection) At the earliest observable stage (two-word stage), the child knows the grammatical and phonological properties of many important inflectional elements of their language. VEKI (very early knowledge of inflection) At the earliest observable stage (two-word stage), the child knows the grammatical and phonological properties of many important inflectional elements of their language.

38 Very Early Parameter Setting As soon as you can see it, kids have: As soon as you can see it, kids have: VO vs. OV order set (Swedish vs. German) VO vs. OV order set (Swedish vs. German) V  I [yes/no] (French vs. English) V  I [yes/no] (French vs. English) V2 [yes/no] (German vs. French/English) V2 [yes/no] (German vs. French/English) Null subject [yes/no] (Italian vs. Fr./E.) Null subject [yes/no] (Italian vs. Fr./E.) So, at least by the 2-word stage, they have the parameters set (maybe earlier) So, at least by the 2-word stage, they have the parameters set (maybe earlier)

39 VEKI? Generally, when kids use inflection, they use it correctly. Mismatches are vanishingly rare. Generally, when kids use inflection, they use it correctly. Mismatches are vanishingly rare. English (Harris & Wexler 1995) English (Harris & Wexler 1995) German (Poeppel & Wexler 1993) German (Poeppel & Wexler 1993) Again, this is kind of contrary to what the field had been assuming (which was: kids are slow at, bad at, learning inflection). Again, this is kind of contrary to what the field had been assuming (which was: kids are slow at, bad at, learning inflection).

40 Ok, but… So: Kids have the full functional structure available to them, and they set the parameters right away and know the inflection. So: Kids have the full functional structure available to them, and they set the parameters right away and know the inflection. What then do we make of the fact that kids make non-adult utterances in the face of evidence that they aren’t learning the parameters? What then do we make of the fact that kids make non-adult utterances in the face of evidence that they aren’t learning the parameters? KW: Certain (very specific, it turns out) properties of the grammar mature. KW: Certain (very specific, it turns out) properties of the grammar mature.

41 Root infinitives vs. time The timing on root infinitives is pretty robust, ending around 3 years old. The timing on root infinitives is pretty robust, ending around 3 years old.

42 NS/OI But some languages appear not to undergo the “optional infinitive” stage. How can this be consistent with a maturational view? But some languages appear not to undergo the “optional infinitive” stage. How can this be consistent with a maturational view? OI languages: Germanic languages studied to date (Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish), Irish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech OI languages: Germanic languages studied to date (Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish), Irish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech Non-OI languages: Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Tamil, Polish Non-OI languages: Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Tamil, Polish

43 NS/OI What differentiates the OI and non-OI languages? What differentiates the OI and non-OI languages? Agreement? Italian (non-OI) has rich agreement, but so does Icelandic (OI). Agreement? Italian (non-OI) has rich agreement, but so does Icelandic (OI). Null subjects! Null subjects! Null Subject/OI Generalization: Children in a language go through an OI stage iff the language is not an INFL-licensed null subject language. Null Subject/OI Generalization: Children in a language go through an OI stage iff the language is not an INFL-licensed null subject language.

44 NS/OI and Hebrew (Rhee & Wexler 1995) Hebrew is a NS language but only in 1st and 2nd person, non-present tense. Everywhere else (3rd past, future, present) subjects are obligatory. Hebrew is a NS language but only in 1st and 2nd person, non-present tense. Everywhere else (3rd past, future, present) subjects are obligatory. Hebrew-learning 2-year-olds showed optional infinitives except in 1/2-past, and allowed null subjects elsewhere, with infinitives. Hebrew-learning 2-year-olds showed optional infinitives except in 1/2-past, and allowed null subjects elsewhere, with infinitives.

45 NS/OI and Hebrew (Rhee & Wexler 1995) % of RIs all OI kids1/2 past/fut (NS)else (non-NS) null subjects0.6% (1/171)25% (85/337) overt subjects1.4% (1/72)0.6% (3/530) kids up to 1;111/2 past/fut (NS)else (non-NS) null subjects0 (of 21)32% (36/112) overt subjects0 (of 6)0 (of 28)

46 Rizzi and truncated trees Rizzi (1993/4): Kids lack the CP=root axiom. Rizzi (1993/4): Kids lack the CP=root axiom. The result (of not having CP=root) is that kids are allowed to have truncated structures—trees that look like adult trees with the tops chopped off. The result (of not having CP=root) is that kids are allowed to have truncated structures—trees that look like adult trees with the tops chopped off. Importantly: The kids don’t just leave stuff out— they just stop the tree “early.” So, if the kid leaves out a functional projection, s/he leaves out all higher XPs as well. Importantly: The kids don’t just leave stuff out— they just stop the tree “early.” So, if the kid leaves out a functional projection, s/he leaves out all higher XPs as well.

47 Truncation: < TP < CP If kid selects anything lower than TP as the root, the result is a root infinitive— which can be as big as any kind of XP below TP in the structure. If kid selects anything lower than TP as the root, the result is a root infinitive— which can be as big as any kind of XP below TP in the structure. Note in particular, though, it can’t be a CP. Note in particular, though, it can’t be a CP. So: we expect that evidence of CP will correlate with finite verbs. So: we expect that evidence of CP will correlate with finite verbs.

48 Truncation: TP < AgrSP Pierce (1989) looking at French observed that there are almost no root infinitives with subject clitics—this is predicted if these clitics are instances of subject agreement in AgrS; if there is no TP, there can be no AgrSP. Pierce (1989) looking at French observed that there are almost no root infinitives with subject clitics—this is predicted if these clitics are instances of subject agreement in AgrS; if there is no TP, there can be no AgrSP.

49 Truncation: TP <> NegP? There is some dispute in the syntax literature as to whether the position of NegP (the projection responsible for the negative morpheme) is higher or lower than TP in the tree. There is some dispute in the syntax literature as to whether the position of NegP (the projection responsible for the negative morpheme) is higher or lower than TP in the tree. If NegP is higher than TP, we would expect not to find negative root infinitives. If NegP is higher than TP, we would expect not to find negative root infinitives. But we do find negative RIs—(Pierce 1989): in the acquisition of French, negation follows finite verbs and precedes nonfinite verbs (that is—French kids know the movement properties of finiteness, and thus they have the concept of finiteness). But we do find negative RIs—(Pierce 1989): in the acquisition of French, negation follows finite verbs and precedes nonfinite verbs (that is—French kids know the movement properties of finiteness, and thus they have the concept of finiteness). So, is TP higher than NegP? So, is TP higher than NegP? Hard to say conclusively from the existing French data because there are not many negative root infinitives—but further study could lead to a theoretical result of this sort about the adult languages. Hard to say conclusively from the existing French data because there are not many negative root infinitives—but further study could lead to a theoretical result of this sort about the adult languages.

50 S O V fin ? Usually (Poeppel & Wexler 1993) German kids put finite verbs in second position, and leave nonfinite verbs at the end. Usually (Poeppel & Wexler 1993) German kids put finite verbs in second position, and leave nonfinite verbs at the end. Occasionally one finds a finite verb at the end. Occasionally one finds a finite verb at the end. Rizzi suggests we could look at this as an instance of a kid choosing AgrSP as root, where CP is necessary to trigger V2. Rizzi suggests we could look at this as an instance of a kid choosing AgrSP as root, where CP is necessary to trigger V2.

51 *Truncation?: Where train go? Truncation predicts: If TP is missing, then CP should be missing. Truncation predicts: If TP is missing, then CP should be missing. But Bromberg & Wexler (1995) observe that bare verbs do appear in wh-questions in child English. Wh- questions implicate CP, bare verbs implicate something missing (TP or AgrP). So, truncation can’t be right. But Bromberg & Wexler (1995) observe that bare verbs do appear in wh-questions in child English. Wh- questions implicate CP, bare verbs implicate something missing (TP or AgrP). So, truncation can’t be right. Guasti notes that although the logic here works, English is weird in this respect: pretty much all other languages do accord with the prediction. Guasti notes that although the logic here works, English is weird in this respect: pretty much all other languages do accord with the prediction.

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