Here's a structure that's not so simple: Revisiting the acquisition of relative clauses
Duffield, Cecily Jill
This study revisits the construction-based incremental account of relative clause acquisition presented in Diessel and Tomasello (2005) by reexamining the subset of presentational relative constructions (PRCs) from their data. I demonstrate that trends of incremental development within this construction rely on the assumption that "amalgams" ("That's my doggy turn around,") are precursors to standard PRC forms ("That's my doggy that turns around.") I argue that amalgams are not related to PRCs in terms of form or function, and that once amalgams are removed from this data set, no patterns of incremental development appear in children's PRC productions. The results suggest that in order to maintain a constructional view of relative clause acquisition, a wider range of forms and functions must be considered.
linguistics; language; relative clauses; constructions; acquisition