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Home arrow Language & Literature arrow Bilingualism and Deafness: On Language Contact in the Bilingual Acquisition of Sign Language and Written Language
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Morphosyntax

Agreement verbs. The analysis of Fuad’s file 1 narrative reveals that the processes related to a functional projection above the VP are operative. In particular, agreement and spatial verbs are correctly inflected. Example (218) documents the correct use of the agreement verb look-at in a narrative sequence that informs about the boy spotting the frogs that are sitting behind the log, which is expressed explicitly in the subsequent clause through the use of detexist, associated with the same locus. The sequence also illustrates referential maintenance as the agreement verb take in (218e) also agrees with the locus established previously for the frogs. Notice, additionally, that (218e) involves the use of a complex classifier construction with an h2-classifier backgrounding information about the location upon which the boy puts the frog (his hand).

224 - DGS: grammatical sketch and summary of acquisition studies

Spatial verbs. Fuad produces several constructions with spatial verbs of motion or location. Example (216) above involves the spatial verb climb-out in a sequence that describes the frog getting out of the jar. Notice that the ground in this sequence is expressed through an h2-classifier. Also the verb fall is used several times in this narrative, for example in (220g), discussed below, to recount the boy’s falling into the water, whereby fall correctly agrees with the location established previously via detloc (the meaning of the sequence, as we will discuss below, remains unclear, however). fall is used in (221d) below to describe the falling of an object from the tree (possibly the beehive, although this is not specified).

Example (219) documents Fuad’s use of the correct classifier to describe the bees’ swarming. Because the subject of think is not referred to explicitly (for example, through a pronoun), the reader is left to infer that it is the dog that previously hit the beehive who speculates that the bees are bored and therefore swarm about (we will take up this issue below in the evaluation of the story from a narrative perspective).

 
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