Professional Paper - Campus Access Only
Bachelor of Arts
School or Department
Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Pablo E. Requena, Ph. D.
Faculty Mentor Department
Modern and Classical Languages
Pablo E. Requena, Ph. D.
differential object marking, Spanish, Argentine, animacy, definiteness
Abstract. Variation is ubiquitous to language. For example, Spanish marks animate and specific direct objects (DO) with “a” (as in: Vi a un niño ‘I saw a boy’ vs. Vi un carro ‘I saw a car’), a phenomenon known as Differential Object Marking (DOM). DOM has been shown to be probabilistically constrained by a number of linguistic factors in the speech of Spanish-speaking adults. The only studies on first language acquisition of DOM to date, however, have concentrated only on contexts considered categorical (i.e., using “a” where it is ‘required’ and zero marking where DOM is ‘prohibited’) and their results are commonly used to suggest very early and errorless acquisition of DOM, albeit in categorical contexts. This study investigates how a monolingual Spanish-speaking child begins to use DOM including –and specifically- in contexts where it is probabilistically conditioned. All utterances containing transitive verbs were manually extracted from the Remedi longitudinal corpus of a monolingual Argentine child Spanish (Remedi et al. submitted), available in the online Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES) database. The corpus contains 14 transcripts of naturalistic conversation between a child aged 1;10-2;11 and her father. Data were further coded for a number of predictor variables known to impact DOM use (such as presence of clitic doubling, DO animacy, DO definiteness, DO specificity). Preliminary analyses revealed that DOM use by both the child and caregiver does not follow categorical rules predicted by some linguistic analyses (Aissen 2003), revealing a number of datapoints not considered in past research. Analysis of all tokens produced by the child indicates that children may be acquiring DOM in a piecemeal fashion.
Honors College Research Project
GLI Capstone Project
Cornelisse, Laura and Requena, Pablo E., "Acquisition of Differential Object Marking in Argentine Spanish" (2019). Undergraduate Theses and Professional Papers. 237.
Available for download on Friday, May 31, 2024
© Copyright 2019 Laura Cornelisse and Pablo E. Requena