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L'acquisition des modifieurs nominaux : le cas de l'adjectif du français

Abstract : The acquisition of attributive adjectives is subject to two major difficulties in French. First, adjectives express a property of a larger unit : children must be able to conceive an object as a whole and as a set of properties to use a NP with an adjective. Second, adjectives in French may occur before or after the noun. Alternation is a defining feature of the category but it is not random, and the constraints at play are numerous and preferential in nature. Also, although speakers are aware of this possibility, they tend to choose a fixed position in usage. These facts raise the question of whether the input allows children to construct the notion of attributive adjectives without a resort to innate linguistic knowledge. To answer this, I propose a comparative study of the productions of three children interacting with their family at two times of their development (T1 : 3 ;8, T2 : 4 ;6). I exa- mine four phenomena concerning attributive adjectives (lexicon, placement, combination with other modifiers or adjectival dependents), and I compare adjectives with other no- minal modifiers. All of these phenomena show the same evolution. At T1, the children use the most frequent construction in the adult data, with a high degree of lexical specificity. T2 shows the appearance of other constructions according to their order of frequency in the adult data. The construction from T1 is also used with a greater choice of lexical units, but within the same semantic classes. The children thus show sensitivity to quantitative information and a gradual abstraction of constructions by semantic analogy, which pleads for a progressive construction of the knowledge of adjectives based on the input data.
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Gwendoline Fox. L'acquisition des modifieurs nominaux : le cas de l'adjectif du français. Linguistique. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle - Paris III, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-00941088⟩

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