Analytical and synthetic verb constructions in Russian and English child language
This paper deals with the differences in the early acquisition of verb constructions by two L1 Russian-speaking and two L1 English-speaking children and compares the emergence of finite and non-finite verb forms in the first six months of early verb production. As an analysis of the early verb forms will show, large language-specific differences exist with regard to the amount of finite vs. non-finite verb forms in the children’s early productions although children acquiring either language display a preference for infinitival and/or other non-finite verb forms for a short period of time. Given the notable differences between Russian and English with regard to the richness of the inflectional system and the predominantly synthetic versus the predominantly analytical nature of Russian versus English verb constructions, the paper aims to show to what extent language-specific properties including the frequency of linguistic elements may contribute to the acquisition of different verbal constructions.
KeywordsBase Form English Child Past Participle Verbal Element Past Form
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