Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: The acquisition of German relative clauses: A case study*
Author: Silke Brandt
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: Holger Diessel
Institution: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Author: Michael Tomasello
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Syntax
Subject Language: German
Abstract: This paper investigates the development of relative clauses in the speech of one German-speaking child aged 2 ; 0 to 5 ; 0. The earliest relative clauses we found in the data occur in topicalization constructions that are only a little different from simple sentences: they contain a single proposition, express the actor prior to other participants, assert new information and often occur with main-clause word order. In the course of the development, more complex relative constructions emerge, in which the relative clause is embedded in a fully-fledged main clause. We argue that German relative clauses develop in an incremental fashion from simple non-embedded sentences that gradually evolve into complex sentence constructions.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 35, Issue 2.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page