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Welcome > Research program > Goals > b) Studying how children’s grammatical tools emerge and function

b) Studying how children’s grammatical tools emerge and function

By Stephen Shimanek . Last update : 28 June 2007. (trans. by Stephen Shimanek)

It will thus be possible:

-  To compare the functions performed by these grammatical tools in child and adult language.
-  To situate their emergence in relation to the child’s motor, cognitive, and psychic development.
-  To share some benchmarks on the order of appearance and usage of grammatical tools in child language with colleagues working in such fields as speech therapy, clinical psychology, primary school education, and pediatrics, all the while recognizing and respecting the individual child’s development and his/her own appropriation of language.
-  To share our database of descriptors with the scientific community. These descriptors contain indications regarding many grammatical markers — negation, nominal determinal, prepositions, conjunctions, aspect, time, modality, pronous, evaluatives and descriptives (adjectives, adverbs), and — as syntax becomes more complex — on relatives, coordination and subordination.

We have shown in our preceding work that pronous, prepositions, discourse markers / connectors, and determiners appear towards the end of the second year, at the same time as the first autobiographical stories, the earliest more articulate appraising comments, and a much clearer positioning with regard to the other. The use of grammatical words is related to this decentering ability of taking into account representations of the other as a potential sender and receiver of as yet unshared knowledge.


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