The linguistic marking of agentivity and control in child language
The present study examines the relationship between linguistic forms and the functions they serve in children's early talk about agentivity and control. The spontaneous linguistic productions of six children ranging between 1;8 and 2;8 served as the data base. Preliminary analyses of who the children referred to and what forms were used in subject position suggest that the children could be divided into two groups. Three children primarily referred to Self and relied on multiple Self reference forms in subject position, while the other children referred to both Self and Other and primarily used the Self reference form, I. A functional analysis was carried out to examine whether the seemingly interchangeable use of Self reference forms could be related to semantic and pragmatic patterns. The findings indicate that at a time before they regularly refer to others, the children systematically employed different Self reference forms to mark distinct perspectives on agency. © 1989, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.
Journal of Child Language
child language, language development, linguistics, child, preschool, ego
Budwig, Nancy, "The linguistic marking of agentivity and control in child language" (1989). Psychology. 205.