Flexibles and polyvalence in Ku Waru

Francesca Merlan, Alan Rumsey

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter concerns the nature and universality of word classes and their relation to syntagmatic types. Having thought through these issues on the basis of material from a Papuan language, Ku Waru, of the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, in this paper we make use of child language acquisition data from that language to examine the acquisition of word classes and clause-level syntactic structures. In particular, we examine the frequency and development in children's acquisition of two distinct multi-word verbal constructions: the adjunct+verb construction and the serial verb construction. The paper considers these structures and the processes of their acquisition from two points of view: that of the adult target language towards which children's proficiency is developing; and that of children's speech at various points in development, from 17 to about 36.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLexical Polycategoriality: Cross-linguistic, cross-theoretical and language acquisition approaches
    EditorsValentina Vapnarsky & Edy Veneziano
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    ISBN (Print)9789027259479
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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