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Raising-Verbs in Dutch: Structure and Acquisition

By L. Koring


This thesis contributes to research both of acquisition as well as structure of the verbal domain and in particular to development, syntax and semantics of the Dutch raising-verbs 'schijnen' and 'lijken' which both translate to ‘seem’. The main finding of the theoretical study is that 'schijnen' is speaker-indexical whereas 'lijken' is not, resulting in differences in behavior in various contexts. Despite their differences however, 'schijnen' and 'lijken' show a similar acquisition pattern, following from a truth-value judgement task conducted for this thesis. Both verbs are acquired only around the age of 8. This supports Wexler’s Universal Phase Requirement which states that children cannot represent defective phases until around age seven. Furthermore, results indicate that not only 'lijken', but also 'schijnen' projects a defective vP. Hence, differences between the verbs do not follow from a different syntactic structure, but are rather claimed to follow from association of the verbs with little v in a different flavor, where little v encodes semantic properties

Topics: Letteren, raising-verbs, speaker-indexicality, Universal Phase Requirement, defective phases
Year: 2007
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