Developmental profile: Muhammed

Muhammed’s file 1 frog story reveals an advanced knowledge of DGS, both at the grammatical and at the narrative level. At the onset of this study, Muhammed demonstrates a command of the full sentential structure of DGS (cf. Table 3.15). Grammatical processes associated with the functional projections above the VP, the IP and the CP, are operative.

In file 3 the information from distinct levels of linguistic analysis is skilfully orchestrated. The data reflect a broader range of the structures that were already apparent in file 1 (in particular, complex sentential constructions and interrogative clauses), as well as a skilful shifting of referential frameworks. From a narrative perspective, Muhammed’s narration of the frog story in file 3 is remarkably complex and detailed. Referential frameworks are skilfully used to describe the events from the characters’ and the narrator’s perspectives. Temporal and causal relations are appropriately narrated. Only information on the background is omitted at times, possibly an effect of the presence of the story booklet during the data collection.

Finally, language mixing occurring occasionally in files 1 and 3, is restricted to constructions with pam (files 1 and 3) and before (file 3). Because Muhammed’s narratives document his mastery of the target grammar, it is unlikely that these potential candidates for language borrowing are developmentally constrained.

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