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Academic Paper


Title: Priming a perspective in Spanish monolingual children: The use of syntactic alternatives
Author: Perla B Gámez
Institution: University of Chicago
Author: Priya Mariana Shimpi
Institution: Mills College
Author: Heidi R Waterfall
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Cornell University
Author: Janellen Huttenlocher
Institution: University of Chicago
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: We used a syntactic priming paradigm to show priming effects for active and passive forms in monolingual Spanish-speaking four- and five-year-olds. In a baseline experiment, we examined children's use of the fue-passive form and found it was virtually non-existent in their speech, although they produced important elements of the form. Children used a more frequent Spanish passive form, the subjectless/se-passive. In a priming experiment, we presented children with drawings described using either active or fue-passive sentences. Children then described novel drawings. Priming was induced for active and passive forms; however, children did not produce the fue-passive provided for them. Instead, children used the subjectless/se-passive and what we term the function-passive, which like the fue-passive, emphasize the patient of the action. We argue that children's use of different passive forms suggests they are sensitive to experimenter's input as it relates to scene interpretation and to syntax.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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