Development of the Syntax-Discourse Interface

  • Sergey Avrutin

Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 23)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Sergey Avrutin
    Pages 1-7
  3. Sergey Avrutin
    Pages 8-22
  4. Sergey Avrutin
    Pages 54-68
  5. Sergey Avrutin
    Pages 93-102
  6. Sergey Avrutin
    Pages 131-175
  7. Sergey Avrutin
    Pages 176-183
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 184-216

About this book


In this book, I address several issues of child linguistic development from the perspective of the syntax -discourse interface. Traditionally, language acquisition research has focused on the development of one of the linguistic modules, e.g. acquisition of syntax, morphology or phonology. While this approach can be viewed as fruitful in some cases, there is a number of linguistic phenomena whose explanation depends on the interaction of different modules and, therefore, different domains of linguistic knowledge. A typical example is pronominal anaphora: It can be shown that to correctly use pronominal elements, normal adult speakers must possess both syntactic and pragmatic knowledge, and that these kinds of knowledge must interact with each other. With regard to the language acquisition process, such phenomena suggest a somewhat different approach to the language acquisition research. Indeed, if some experimental studies show that children make errors in the construction under investigation, it will be necessary to consider these results from the point of view of the interaction of the different domains of linguistic knowledge involved in their interpretation. In other words, if this particular construction requires the integration of, for example, syntactic and discourse-based knowledge, children's errors may, in principle, be due to their lack of the former, the latter, or both kinds of knowledge, and cannot be taken as direct evidence for the "underdeveloped" status of just one of them.


Syntax knowledge language acquisition

Authors and affiliations

  • Sergey Avrutin
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5307-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-1239-2
  • Series Print ISSN 1873-0043
  • Buy this book on publisher's site