Document Detail

Structure of child and adult past counterfactuals, and implications for acquisition of the construction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22417646     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ABSTRACTChildren start producing if p, q conditionals relatively late. Past counterfactuals (PCFs), for example 'If she had shut the cage, the rabbit wouldn't have escaped', are particularly problematic for children; despite evidence of comprehension in the preschool years, children aged eleven are still making production errors in PCF structure (Crutchley, 2004). Working within a usage-based framework, the present study explores whether PCFs in the conversational component of the British National Corpus show structural similarities to the set of PCF structures produced by six- to eleven-year-old children in an elicitation task. Adult PCFs are found to be both rare in spontaneous conversation and very varied in structure. Low token frequency and high type frequency are hypothesized to account partly for children's late acquisition of the PCF construction. However, regularities in the use of subjects and verbs in adult PCFs are hypothesized to assist children's acquisition of the construction.
Alison Crutchley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of child language     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-7602     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0425743     Medline TA:  J Child Lang     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1-31     Citation Subset:  -    
University of Huddersfield.
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