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TitleAcquiring the distribution of null and overt direct objects in European Portuguese
Author(s)Flores, Cristina
Rinke, Esther
Sopata, Aldona
KeywordsEuropean Portuguese
Direct objects
Accessibility hierarchy
Null object stage
Issue date4-May-2020
PublisherAssociação de Editores do Journal of Portuguese Linguistics (AEJPL)
JournalJournal of Portuguese Linguistics
CitationFlores, C., Rinke, E., & Sopata, A. (2020). Acquiring the distribution of null and overt direct objects in European Portuguese. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 19(1), 5. DOI:
Abstract(s)This article investigates the L1 acquisition of different types of direct objects in European Portuguese (EP). Previous research has revealed that although children have early syntactic and pragmatic knowledge of objects across languages, the adequate use of pronouns and null objects is protracted in the acquisition of EP (Costa et al. 2012). The present study shows that children acquiring the distribution of direct objects are aware of universal pragmatic hierarchies but struggle with the interpretation and feature bundles of null objects. Assuming that arguments are linked to left-peripheral C/edge linkers (Sigurðsson 2011), we argue that children need more time to discover the adult-like feature composition of null objects in EP because they involve phi-silent features. Relative accessibility (Ariel 1991) is universal and available early, whereas the absolute accessibility of null objects, i.e. their feature content, is acquired relatively late.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEHUM - Artigos publicados em revistas

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