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Functionalist linguistic theory and language acquisition

Contenu

Type de document

article de périodique

Titre

Functionalist linguistic theory and language acquisition

Revue/Ouvrage

First Language

Volume-no

Vol.11

Auteurs/Editeurs scientifiques

Van Valin, Robert Jr.

Nombre de pages

34

Date de publication

1991

Pagination

7-40

Langue

ang

ISBN/ISSN

0142-7237

Résumé

Most theoretical work in developmental psycholinguists has been informed by ideas from formalist linguistic theories, and this paper argues that functionalist linguistic theories, in particular Role and Reference Grammar, have much to contribute to theories of language acquisition. The contrasts between formalist and functionalist linguistic theories and their differing implications for acquisition are characterized, and then specific areas of acquisition are discussed: the acquisition of tense, aspect, modality and negation, and the learning of the constraints on extraction phenomena known as 'island constraints' or 'subiacency' from evidence readily available to the child. Finally, the consequences of this account of extraction constraints for the issue of modularity are explored.