Nominal Modification

The Graduate School on Nominal Modification at the University of Frankfurt

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Colloquium: Lydia Grohe

On Tuesday, November 20th at 4pm in SH 3.104, Lydia Grohe will be giving a talk in the GK colloquium.

Title: Round blue table or blue round table: The production of double prenominal adjectives in acquisition
The presence of multiple adjectives in prenominal position is subject to ordering restrictions in adult language. These restrictions are usually explained via notion based adjective classes (e.g., Cinque 2010; Scott 2002). However, based on descriptive arguments (e.g., Truswell 2009) as well as experimental evidence (Scontras et al. 2017) it has been found that certain notion based adjective classes like COLOR and SHAPE are used in interchangeable order.
There has been only little investigation of the acquisition path into double prenominal adjectives, i.e., at what age these structures are first produced, and how and when adult-like adjective ordering restrictions are acquired.
First results from my corpus study (“Leo”, Behrens 2006; in the CHILDES database, MacWhinney 2000) reveal that double prenominal adjectives are already produced at the age of 2;01 years by a German-speaking child (see Bar-Sever et al. 2018 for similar results in English-speaking children). A preliminary qualitative analysis shows that the child’s adjective orders cannot be fully explained by the restrictions proposed by notion based hierarchies. Moreover, focusing on the adjective classes COLOR and SHAPE I will present an outline for an elicited production experiment that aims at exploring in more detail whether children produce both adjective orders.

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