Syntactic Development: Dependency Grammar Perspective

Anat Ninio

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Syntactic Development: Dependency Grammar Perspective

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  • Dependency grammars (DGs) are a family of linguistic theories built on the dependency relation between two words as the building block for syntactic structure. DG is an attractive framework for developmental theory due to its generative use of a single mechanism of binary combination between two words, which is iterated to produce infinitely long sentences. A review of the developmental evidence indicates that children learn a dependency-type internalized grammar to produce their word combinations.

    DG originated in the so-called Prague School of linguistics of which the French linguist Lucien Tesnière was a member. Grammars belonging to this family include I. Mel'cuk's Meaning-Text Theory, R. Hudson's Word Grammar, and S. Starosta's Lexicase, among others. These types of grammars are extremely prominent in European linguistics, but they are ...

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