Ulster University in Northern Ireland
Errors, predictions, and continuity in grammar and processing
Children acquire language relatively quickly. At the same time, children still reach specific “non-adultlike” interpretations and produce “non-adultlike” utterances well after mastering other complex aspects of their language. These “errors” can reveal key factors in the language acquisition process. Context is important, however. Identifying the source of a particular error can have significant implications for language development and more general learnability, but non-adultlike behavior is often consistent with multiple possible sources.
In this talk, I will focus on these sources, from the level of grammar/processing down to specific parsing mechanisms, and the predictions that the different sources make about children’s (mis-)interpretations of complex structures. I will also discuss implications for the type of development at each level, given the source, and the conditions for this development.
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