Dependancy and relative determination in language acquisition: The case of Ku Waru

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    In this chapter I discuss what I take to be examples of dependency in children’s learning of Ku Waru, a Papuan language spoken in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.1 The first example is a phonological one and has to do with the order of children’s acquisition of the four Ku Waru lateral consonant phonemes. The other example is syntactic and has to do with the order of acquisition of simple verbs and two kinds of phrasal verb construction: adjunct+verb constructions and serial verb constructions. I argue that both of these examples show dependencies based on two kinds of constraining factors: 1) intrinsic simplicity vs complexity along dimensions which are common to all languages; 2) relational, language specific forms of simplicity vs complexity which have to with degrees of “pattern congruity” or “structural congruence” within phonological and syntactic systems respectively
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDependencies in language: On the casual ontology of linguistic systems
    Editors N. J. Enfield
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    PublisherLanguage Science Press
    Pages97-117pp
    ISBN (Print)9783946234661
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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