Word order preferences of Tagalog-speaking adults and children

Garcia, R. ORCID: 0000-0003-1363-542X, Dery, J.E., Roeser, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4463-0923 and Höhle, B., 2018. Word order preferences of Tagalog-speaking adults and children. First Language, 38 (6), pp. 617-640. ISSN 0142-7237

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This article investigates the word order preferences of Tagalog-speaking adults and five- and seven-year-old children. The participants were asked to complete sentences to describe pictures depicting actions between two animate entities. Adults preferred agent-initial constructions in the patient voice but not in the agent voice, while the children produced mainly agent-initial constructions regardless of voice. This agent-initial preference, despite the lack of a close link between the agent and the subject in Tagalog, shows that this word order preference is not merely syntactically-driven (subject-initial preference). Additionally, the children’s agent-initial preference in the agent voice, contrary to the adults’ lack of preference, shows that children do not respect the subject-last principle of ordering Tagalog full noun phrases. These results suggest that language-specific optional features like a subject-last principle take longer to be acquired.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: First Language
Creators: Garcia, R., Dery, J.E., Roeser, J. and Höhle, B.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 2018
Volume: 38
Number: 6
ISSN: 0142-7237
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 21 Aug 2018 13:10
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2019 08:17
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34366

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