Abstract : This study explores the acquisition of nominal determination procedures – in a broad sense the construction of reference to entities – in a story-telling task, by French and Polish 4, 7 and 10 year-old children, and by Polish adult beginners and advanced learners of L2 French. Polish is a relatively under-studied language in the acquisition litterature.
The specificity of each learner type was determined through the analysis of the interaction of phrasal rules and discourse-organising principles determining the use of a particular form of NP in a specific context. Results show that children do not calculate their interlocutor's (given-new) knowledge-state and thus acquire intra-discursive functions late. On the contrary, adult learners use the discursive knowledge acquired through their mother tongue and develop basic linguistic means to perform the task.