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Schoots, H. 4

Weerman, F.P.

Fred Weerman, born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, in 1957. Ph.D. from Utrecht University. Professor of Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam.

Guest of the Rector (1 September 2011 – 30 November 2011)

Early and Late Acquisition of Inflection

Children are capable to of picking up even the opaque aspects of the inflectional system of the target language very early on. This is rather different for adult learners. This contrast between early and late acquisition is also visible in diachronic developments: Loss of inflection tends to be related to language contact, which in general implies (different sorts of) late acquisition. It can be argued that the making of inflection, on the other hand, is typically a result of undisturbed transmission of language from one generation to the other.

These so-called ‘age effects’ will be investigated in this project by incorporating evidence from other groups of learners, namely children acquiring a second language, and adopted children (who are in a way in between children acquiring a first and a second language).

Fred Weerman (2011), “Diachronic Change: Early versus Late Acquisition”, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 14(2), 149-151.

Elma Blom, Daniela Polišenská & Fred Weerman (2006), “Effects of age on the acquisition of agreement inflection”. Morphology 16, 313-336.

Ad Neeleman & Fred Weerman (1999), Flexible Syntax; A Theory of Case and Arguments, Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academics.