Browsing by Author "Hanson, Rebecca"
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- ItemOpen AccessThe acquisition of English onsets: the case of Amahl(University of Calgary, 2002-09) Hanson, RebeccaThe acquisition of English onsets by one English-learning child is examined in close detail, with particular focus on the acquisition of /s/ and /s/-clusters. The observation that target /s/ in harmony environments is sensitive to the feature [labial] as opposed to [coronal] and [dorsal] provides support for a feature geometry model in which [labial] versus [lingual] is a possible distinction, e.g. Brown (1997). Further, the unique behavior of target /s/ in the developing phonology motivates the proposal that physiological factors, such as articulatory difficulty, can have consequences in the grammatical system. In particular, it is proposed that a constraint against lingual continuants, which require a precise physical coordination that may not have yet developed, can account for the patterns in the child's acquisition of /s/ clusters. A comparison with the acquisition of /f/, a non-lingual continuant, and that of /l/, another lingual continuant, provides further support for this proposal. The conclusions reached here are consistent with notion of a phonological system grounded in independent, functional principles as argued for in, for example, Goad (1997).
- ItemOpen AccessPronoun acquisition and the morphological feature geometry(University of Calgary, 2000-01) Hanson, RebeccaThe acquisition of pronouns has received limited attention in the literature, and there are few studies which deal with this topic in detail. From the data available, clear and sometimes surprising patterns of uniformity and variability emerge. Previous attempts to account for these patterns have all faced similar problems, specifically in explaining the heterogeneous initial set of pronouns (first person singular, and third person singular inanimate), and in accounting for the variation that is found. In this paper I find that these previously problematic areas are readily accounted for using the hierarchy of morphological features proposed by Ritter and Harley (1998).
- ItemOpen AccessSplit INFL and the acquisition of Neg and Aux(University of Calgary, 1999-01) Hanson, RebeccaBecause child language is human language, it is important that proposed linguistic theories be able to account equally well for both child and adult speech. This paper examines a model of split-INFL, which was proposed for adult language, from the perspective of acquisition. With a focus on the acquisition of English negatives auxiliaries, I test the ability of this model to account for the earliest observed stages of child speech in these areas. Data from several children learning English is considered and the model is found able to predict and explain the common patterns. The hierarchical structure within INFL accounts for the word order in the first instances of negation, the relative order of appearance between negatives and auxiliaries, and the fact that the earliest auxiliaries were negated. The success in these areas suggests that a further, crosslinguistic look at the role of split-INFL in acquisition would be worthwhile.
- ItemOpen AccessWhy can't we all just agree?: animacy and the person case constraint(2003) Hanson, Rebecca; Ritter, D. ElizabethMany typologically diverse languages exhibit a restriction on the objects of a ditransitive verb: in the presence of indirect object agreement, direct object agreement may not be 1st or 2nd person (Bonet 1991; Albizu 1997) or 3rd person animate (Ormazabal and Romero 2002). This restriction is known as the Person Case Constraint (PCC). In this thesis, I assume that the PCC effects derive from general grammatical principles that conspire to produce the observed restrictions. My analysis rests on four claims: 1) the person/number/gender features of both objects are encoded only in verb agreement, while the objects themselves are featurally-deficient pro's; 2) these pro's receive their interpretation by having the agreement features copied onto them; 3) the copying procedure for both null object is moderated by a single functional head; and 4) if both agreement feature sets are specified for the feature [Sentient], the resulting ambiguity will disable the copying mechanism.