Discourse-Based Analyses of Root Infinitives
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In this chapter, I turn to another error observed in the speech of children and Broca’s aphasics, namely the incorrect use of untensed clauses34. It has been reported that children acquiring many languages (crucially, non-pro-drop languages, see discussion below) allow the verb to be untensed (that is, Root Infinitives, such as Michel dormir ‘Michel sleep’ in French, or Mommy go, in English.) I provide syntactic and discourse analyses of these constructions and argue that, similar to the errors discussed in previous chapters, root infinitives can also be explained on the assumption of the limited processing resources, although with a certain modification of this hypothesis.
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