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Academic Paper

Title: The Acquisition of Differential Object Marking in Spanish
Paper URL:
Author: Miguel Rodríguez-Mondoñedo
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Syntax
Subject Language: Spanish
Subject LANGUAGE Family: Romance; Romance; Romance; Romance
Abstract: In this paper, I show that a constraint-based approach to DOM, such as the OT system proposed by Aissen 2003, leads to the conclusion that the child will entertain a number of grammars different from the target grammar, before acquiring the final ranking of constraints, even under the learnability assumptions of the OT framework (such as those made by Tesar and Smolensky 1998, 2000). The data examined here, from Spanish-speaking children in the CHILDES database, clearly shows that children master Spanish DOM with a performance virtually errorless. This raises doubts regarding the capacity of the OT framework/L/to explain a key aspect of human language, namely, the process of acquisition. I also show that the process of DOM acquisition under the OT framework cannot be entirely data-driven, but some special assumptions (e.g. memory of previous data) are needed to account for the acquisition.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed

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