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Syntax, Complex

The child's task in developing syntactic complexity is addressed below, as follows: The relevant linguistic domain is defined, different approaches to the topic are noted, and the developmental route in producing complex syntactic constructions is delineated—from toddlers through to late school age. This entry deals with what is generally termed acquisition of complex sentences in earlier studies of Melissa Bowerman and John Limber and in more recent studies based on both usage-based construction grammar and formal generative models, illustrated by Holger Diessel and Barbara Lust, respectively.

The focus here is on clause-combining (CC) as the process by which clauses are linked together into larger syntactic constructions. Reliance on the clause as a linguistic unit that contains a predicate expressing a single unified situation avoids crediting young ...

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