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Direct Objects and Language Acquisition


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Table of Contents

1. Missing objects in child language; 2. From the missing to the invisible; 3. Rome leads to all roads; 4. Interpreting the missing object; 5. How unusual is your object?; 6. Conclusion.

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This book explores a much-debated area of language acquisition: the omission by young children of direct objects in a sentence.

About the Author

Ana Teresa Perez-Leroux is Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, and Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the University of Toronto. Her research seeks to understand how children learn the syntax and semantics of the smallest and silent components of sentence grammar, including determiners, prepositions, number, tense, mood and aspect, null objects and subjects, and how grammatical complexity develops from these components. Mihaela Pirvulescu is Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Language Studies, University of Toronto. Her research looks at the morpho-syntactic expression and acquisition of verbal argument structure, and how bilingualism and multilingualism impacts the course of language acquisition. Yves Roberge is Principal of New College and Professor of Linguistics in the French Department at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the syntax and semantics of French and other Romance languages, especially Canadian French, as well as dialectal variation, first language acquisition, and the syntax-morphology interface.


'This is an admirable example of how a sophisticated analysis of a narrowly defined and partly even invisible phenomenon can reveal deep insights into language acquisition, with wide-ranging consequences for syntactic theory. As such, it is also a demonstration of how acquisition research can inform grammatical theory. Beautifully written, this book is therefore highly recommended to a readership not only interested in language acquisition but also in syntactic theory.' Jurgen Meisel, University of Hamburg

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