Article published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2005: Selected papers from ‘Going Romance’, Utrecht, 8–10 December 2005
Edited by Sergio Baauw, Frank Drijkoningen and Manuela Pinto
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 291] 2007
► pp. 59–72
Clitic omission, null objects or both in the acquisition of European Portuguese?
Previous studies have established a correlation between early clitic omission and the existence of past participle agreement, explainable with a maturational constraint – the UCC. Since Portuguese doesn’t show past participle agreement, it is expected that Portuguese children will produce clitics early on. I order to find out whether this correlation holds for Portuguese, an experimental study was conducted reproducing Schaeffer’s (1997) and adapting it to particular properties of Portuguese – the availability of null objects and variability of clitic position. The results of this study suggest that Portuguese children do omit clitics, apparently contradicting previous studies. Since clitic omission lasts until later than in other languages, we hypothesize that the explanation may rely on complexity factors.
Published online: 21 November 2007
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