The Acquisition of Japanese Syntax

Keiko Murasugi and Koji Sugisaki

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307344
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Acquisition of Japanese Syntax

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  • Linguistics
  • Language Acquisition
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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This article investigates a number of issues concerning parameter setting and developmental factors in language acquisition. It is mainly limited to studies on the acquisition of syntax that provide intriguing empirical findings. The studies of Japanese acquisition confirm the early emergence of Universal Grammar principles, but the syntactic phenomena that are taken up to demonstrate this point are quite different from those in the acquisition of English, which makes these studies quite intriguing from the viewpoint of acquisition theory. The article also indicates that the time course of child language acquisition is a potentially rich source of evidence concerning the parameters of variation permitted by human language. It is hoped that the connection between acquisitional investigations and theoretical studies of the Japanese language will be further tightened in the future.

Keywords: language acquisition; Japanese syntax; Universal Grammar principles; acquisition theory; child; Japanese language

Article.  14260 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Acquisition ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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