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Academic Paper


Title: The case for diglossia: Describing the emergence of two grammars in the early acquisition of metropolitan French
Author: Katerina Palasis
Institution: BCL UMR 7320 CNRS-Université Nice de Sophia Antipolis
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This article supports the diglossic approach to variation in metropolitan French by delving into the subject from the point of view of acquisition. Drawing on naturalistic data from 37 native French children between the ages of 2;3 and 4;0, the investigation exemplifies the existence of two cognate, but distinct grammars in the mind/brain of these children. The distinction between Spontaneous French (G, all children) and Normed French (G, 4 children by age 4) hinges upon two crucial characteristics, i.e. the morpho-syntactic status of nominative clitics and the emergence of the negative particle ne. Accusative clitics with imperatives and past-participle agreement are also examined in order to gain a comprehensive picture of the two grammars. Finally, the emergence of ne is interpreted as a trigger forcing a speaker to move from G to G due to the total unavailability of ne in G.

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This article appears IN Journal of French Language Studies Vol. 23, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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