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Linguistische Arbeiten

Band 456:
Hohenberger, Annette: unctional Categories in Language Acquisition. Self-Organization of a Dynamical System. X/318 S. - Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2002.
ISBN: 3-484-30456-1
Dieser Band ist im IDS verfügbar:
[Buch] IDS-Bibliothek: Sig. MB 1395
Alternatives Medium:
E-Book (PDF). Berlin / New York: de Gruyter. ISBN: 978-3-11-092352-0

This study investigates the acquisition of Functional Categories (e.g., INFL (AGR, TNS), DET, COMP) from the perspective of self-organization in generative grammar. Language is conceived of as a dynamical system which evolves in time and bifurcates when critical thresholds are reached. The emergence of syntax as evidenced by the acquisition of Functional Categories is the major bifurcation in child language acquisition.

Target values of syntactic parameters are attractors which children approach on individual trajectories. A proposed tripartite scenario of change – from a simple stable state A, via symmetry-breaking in a liminal phase B characterized by variation, to a new complex stable state C – accounts for the dynamics in early grammatical development.

Traditional generative issues, such as the acquisition of case-marking, finiteness, V2, and wh-questions, are discussed as well as new issues, such as functional neologisms, and sentential blends. Dynamical notions like precursor, oscillation, symmetry-breaking, and trigger are important explanatory tools. The growing child phrase marker is a fractal mental object which represents syntactic information by way of self-similar extended projections.

The book addresses researchers in language acquisition from various theoretical camps: generative, functional, connectionist, by giving new answers to old questions in the light of a novel challenging theory: self-organization.


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Part A: Self-Organization and Language Acquisition
1.   Introduction S. 1
2.   Language Acquisition Research in Generative Grammar: The Classical Models S. 16
3.   Language Acquisition Research in Generative Grammar: New Models S. 23
4.   Liminalia S. 32
Part B: Theme and Variation
Self-Organization in Langauge Acquisition: Models, Data and Analyses S. 91
5.   Models of Layers and Levels of Syntactic Structures S. 91
6.   Case Morphology S. 111
7.   Finiteness, Non-Finiteness, Verb Placement, and Negation S. 126
8.   The Acquisition of German Wh-Questions: Aspects of Variation in the C-System S. 165
9.   The Position of Adjuncts S. 200
10.   Syntactic Surface Blends S. 207
11.   Functional Neologisms, Proto-Functional Categories, or, Living Dinosaurs S. 221
12.   Precursors: Composition S. 230
Part C: Dynamical Principles and Notions in Language Acquisition
13.   Oscillations S. 251
14.   Bootstrapping S. 259
15.   Symmetry-Breakers and Predators vs. Matter and Prey: The Relation between Functional and Lexical Categories S. 262
16.   The Trigger S. 271
Part D: Outlook
17.   Beyond Economy: Ecology S. 291
Abbreviations S. 302
Bibliography S. 303