S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 48 Number 1/3 (2012)
A New Look at Determiners in Early Grammar: Phrasal Quantifiers
- Shin, Yu Kyoung
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.48 No.3, pp. 573-608
- This paper examines whether English-speaking children exhibit systematic uses of determiners within phrasal quantifiers (PQs), which would be evidence for the determiner category in early grammars. Most previous studies investigate definite and indefinite articles in combination with nouns. However, the present study tests how children use all the determiners as part of PQs. Analysis of English native-speaker adult corpora reveals three groups of PQs based on following determiners: Phrasal quantifiers (1) obligatorily require a definite determiner (e.g., many of the toys); (2) are contextually dependent (e.g., a part of a/the toy); or (3) tend to precede a bare noun without a determiner (e.g., a number of toys). On the basis of these findings, this paper investigates data from English-speaking children aged one to five in the CHILDES corpus to see if they differ from adult data. Scrutiny of 2,502 tokens of 24 English PQs demonstrates that young children show patterns remarkably similar to adultspatterns. Finally, individual variation is investigated by looking at the degree of overlap between a child and his father in how they employ determiners within PQs. In this child early productions, the determiners are distributed much as in his father productions, providing further evidence that children usage is similar to that of adults.