The Acquisition of Implicit Control in European Portuguese

Autors:

Celina Agostinho & Anna Gavarró

Títol:

New Trends in Language Acquisition Within the Generative Perspective

Editorial: Springer
Data de publicació: 18 de gener del 2020

Més informació

Few studies have assessed children’s comprehension of the null infinitival subject (PRO) in Obligatory Control complements when the matrix object is implicit. A study on European Portuguese showed that children have poor comprehension of control complements of dizer “tell” with an implicit object controller, displaying high rates of subject control with this verb (Gamas, 2016). Moreover, Mateu (2016) found that both Spanish and English-speaking children performed at adult level with subject control complements of promise-type verbs when the matrix object is implicit. Our experiment tested children’s comprehension of control with prometer “promise” and dizer “tell” with overt and implicit objects. The results show that, in the case of sentences with implicit objects, children obtained significantly higher rates of object control with dizer than with prometer, despite high rates of (non-adult) subject control with dizer. Furthermore, children obeyed the locality of Obligatory Control and were sensitive to the properties of the main verb.