The acquisition of ergative marking in Kaluli, Ku Waru and Duna (Trans New Guinea)

Alan Rumsey, Lila San Roque, Bambi B Schieffelin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    In this chapter we present material on the acquisition of ergative marking on noun phrases in three languages of Papua New Guinea: Kaluli, Ku Waru, and Duna. The expression of ergativity in all the languages is broadly similar, but sensitive to language-specific features, and this pattern of similarity and difference is reflected in the available acquisition data. Children acquire adult-like ergative marking at about the same pace, reaching similar levels of mastery by 3;00 despite considerable differences in morphological complexity of ergative marking among the languages. What may be more important – as a factor in accounting for the relative uniformity of acquisition in this respect – are the similarities in patterns of interactional scaffolding that emerge from a comparison of the three cases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Acquisition of Ergativity
    Editors Edith L. Bavin and Sabine Stoll
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Pages133-182
    ISBN (Print)9789027234797
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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