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Maria Mastropavlou Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Abstract The aim of this presentation is to investigate the status of Agreement features and in particular [Gender] in the grammar of Greek children with Specific Language Impairment. Feature assignment is investigated with respect to Chomsky’s notion of LF-interpretability. It has been argued that AGR features (phi-features) on definite articles and adjectives are interpretable only in PF but not in LF, whereas phi-features of Nouns are LF-interpretable. If features that are non-interpretable at LF are mostly affected by SLI, then there should be a distinction between the assignment of [Gender] on Articles and Nouns, as [Gender] is considered an inherent property of the noun stem, whereas in adjectives it is a property of the inflectional affix. There should also be a distinction between [Gender] assignment as opposed to [Number] and [Case] assignment, features that are of a different status. Keywords: agreement, specific language impairment, LF-interpretability, feature assignment 1. Introduction 1.1 Specific Language Impairment Specific Language Impairment (SLI) appears in children of 3 to 6 years of age and it causes serious problems in the development of language, especially grammar. The language difficulties are not accompanied with hearing or articulation deficits, brain damage or psychological disorders and the impaired children are characterised by normal intelligence (IQ>85). The prevalence of the impairment is about 7-10% of births every year (Leonard, 1998). 1.2 Agreement Features and LF-Interpretability. It has been argued that agreement features in verbs as well as case and number features in nouns are non-interpretable in LF (Logical Form) in Chomsky’s terminology (1995). Likewise, the definite article, along with accusative clitics, has been argued to lack LFinterpretable features such as referentiality and definiteness (Tsimpli & Stavrakaki, 1999; Tsimpli, 2001). On the other hand, the indefinite article, strong pronouns and possessive clitics contain the interpretable features of referentiality and definiteness. Coming to the features of interest, gender is claimed to be a feature of the stem in nouns, whereas it is considered part of the inflectional suffix in adjectives and articles
In: M. Mattheoudakis & A. Psaltou-Joysey (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (p. 356–373). Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: 2003.
number and case are not expected to differ in the way they are realised in Ns and ARTs.11 and Dinos. Based on this claim. the way these features are lexically realised in different grammatical categories. . given the fact that gender belongs to the stem in Ns – and is LF-interpretable – but to the suffix in ARTs – which makes in uninterpretable. number and case are features of the inflectional suffix in articles. it can be assumed that gender constitutes an interpretable feature in nouns but not in articles or adjectives.2 Experiments – Speech Elicitation Test 2. for her valuable help in the collection of the data. Method 2. adjectives and nouns. None of the children had any speech therapy history. 5.1 Existing Words The first part of the test aimed at the production of the features in question in existing words. 2 I would like to thank the speech therapist responsible for the children who participated in this study. aged 5. On the other hand. Therefore. it is predicted that the children’s performance in gender marking in nouns will be better than in articles. they are still expected to cause greater difficulties than gender marking.1 Subjects Two SLI children participated in the study: Stelios. 2.6.(Ralli. there appears to be a differentiation in the status of gender as opposed to that of case and number. On the other hand. Mrs Maria Vlassopoulou. 1. especially when it comes to nouns. 2 They both fulfilled all required by the literature criteria for the diagnosis of SLI.3 Research Goals and Predictions Primary goal of this study is to test the accessibility of the features of gender. This differentiation is expected to be manifest in the results of the present study. In the light of the above theoretical framework. as they belong to the inflection – and thus lack interpretability – in both categories.2. such as articles and nouns. however. regarding LF-interpretability. The possibility that any differences in their realisation in ARTs and Ns trigger differences in the children’s performance when producing these two categories will be examined as well. Both children had been diagnosed with Specific Language Impairment in the Centre of Communal Psychological Hygiene in Athens. 2. will be tested. Moreover. Table 1 gives a detailed description of the tasks included in this part of the test. case and number as well as agreement regarding these features. 1994).
«eki ine o kitrinos lekuros» (‘there’s the yellow lekuros’). Stimulus Noun is accompanied by an Indefinite article Method 2 MSC I. +Concord bet.g. enas-MSC panatidhaFEM). Table 2. Nouns 20 Ns 5FEM 7NEUT 6MSC II. The child answered questions like “Whose is the bike?” 2. Possessive NPs 18 NPs 6FEM 6NEUT 12 NPs 6MSC 6FEM Method 10 SG 10 PL 9SG 9PL 12SG The child named the content of the pictures. Corresponding pictures of non-existing animals and objects were drawn.g. b.2 Non-existing Words Twenty-two nonsense words were created so that they would follow phonological and morphological rules of Modern Greek language. Speech production test – part I: existing words Content 8MSC I. The tasks are described in Tables 2 and 3. The child closes his/her eyes and cards are hidden in the room. which does NOT agree in gender with the N suffix (e. Indefinite Article + Noun a. -Concord bet.Table 1. The child finds cards in the room and names the animal/object: e. Noun Phrases III. ART-N 6 Ns + IND ART 2 FEM 2 NEUT 2FEM/ NEUT 2MSC/ FEM 2NEUT/ MSC The child sees 2 pictures of a non-existing animal/object in two different colours and hears the noun with an indefinite article. The child answered questions like “which of the three is green?”. ART-N 6 Ns + IND ART . The same procedure as above is followed.2. choosing one of the objects in a picture. The child sees 2 pictures of a non-existing animal/object in two different colours and hears the noun with an indefinite article.
Error scores in number marking during the production of bare nouns Bare Nouns . The above procedure is followed 3. vasi’lies-PL -. Stimulus Noun is given without any determiner indicating gender 1 MSC II.instead of ‘dhendra-PL (=trees) .1.Num be r 100% 80% E rror scores 60% 40% 20% SINGULAR PLURAL 50% 15% 0% 0% Dinos 0% Stelios It is clearly seen in the figure above that plural nouns cause greater difficulties than singular ones for both children. Bare Nouns a. The following are some indicative errors that the children made: (1) (2) (3) tile’orasi-SG -.instead of tileo’rasis-PL (=televisions). The N suffix clearly indicates the gender of the N.1 Existing Words 3. Unambiguous suffix 4 Ns with unambiguous suffixes 2 FEM 1 NEUT 3 MSC/ NEUT 3 FEM/ NEUT b. «a’fto ‘leghete pi’teli» (‘this is called piteli’ FEM/NEUT). Results 3. The Ns end in ambiguous suffixes e. one regarding Number marking and one Gender marking. The input phrase is of the form «a’fto ‘leghete krilo’pi» (‘this is called krilopi’).instead of vasiliadhes-PL (=kings) ‘dhendro-SG -.Table 3.g. Figure 1.1 Bare Nouns Two analyses of the Bare Nouns data were carried out. The results are presented in figures 1 and 2 below. Ambiguous suffix 6 Ns with ambiguous suffixes The same procedure is followed.
In this task. whereas no problems appear to be encountered with NEUT nouns by the children. Error scores in number marking during the production of bare nouns Bare Nouns .ART.2 Noun Phrases (Which of the three is green? – the crocodile). DINOS STELIOS . consisting of a definite article and a noun. Both children seem to face difficulties in the production of specific MSC nouns (i vasilies instead of i vasiliadhes – kings). The results in this task are presented in Table 4. 3. FEM nouns seem to cause only small difficulties (and only for one of the two children). 1 – 17% 0 0 1 – 6% 0 0 0 0 OMIT 0 0 0 0 1 – 17% 0 0 1 – 5.Figure 2.-N. However. the children were required to produce noun phrases. this cannot be considered as gender error since the suffix ‘es’ wrongly used by both children instead of ‘adhes’ also belongs to MSC nouns. noun phrases MSC FEM NEUT T MSC FEM NEUT T CORR 5 – 83% 6 6 17 – 94% 4 – 66% 6 6 16 – 89% INC.ART. it is interesting to note that all errors and omissions appeared in MSC contexts. which however belong to another category.1.5% INC. whereas FEM and NEUT noun phrases were correctly produced in 100% of the contexts by both children.5% T 6 6 6 18 6 6 6 18 The analysis presented in table 4 shows that only few agreement errors and article omissions were made by the children in the production of noun phrases.Ge nde r 100% 80% Er r s o e ro c r s 60% 40% 20% 0% Stelios Dinos 12% 0%0% 20% 12% 0% MSC FEM NEUT Figure 2 provides a somewhat different picture. Table 4.N. Agreement errors and article omissions in DEF. 0 0 0 0 1 – 17% 0 0 1 – 5. Some examples are given below. Furthermore. The children appear to have small difficulties in gender marking of bare nouns. However.
Case marking in Possessive NPs STELIOS CORR MSC FEM T MSC FEM T 6 – 100% 4 – 66% 10 – 83. of crocodile-MSC.NOM.GEN.3 Possessive NPs Errors in the use or Possessive noun phrases were divided into those that constituted gender agreement errors (that is.SG.(4) Examiner : Ti apo ta tria ine Which of the three is Dinos: *kro’kodhilos – inst.SG. as the whole NP would be used in the wrong case.1. while only 1 out of 5 involves incorrect use of the N.NOM bucket-MSC.SG.NOM 3. two instances of article omission were observed in the production of possessive NPs by the two children. -AGR 0 0 0 1 – 17% ACC. What is more. Finally. ‘prasino? green? o kro’kodhikos the-MSC. The results are presented in Table 5 below.NOM. 1 – 8.NOM.SG. only the N or the ART were used incorrectly) and those that did not constitute agreement errors.s 4 – 33.3% 1 – 17% 0 1NOM.GEN. za’keta? jacket? tis dha’skalas the-FEM. 0 1 – 17% 1 – 8.NOM.art. Table 5.NOM. the-MSC. (5) Examiner : Ti a’po ta ‘tria ‘ine gkri? Which of the three is grey? Dinos: *to ku’vas – inst.3% 5 – 83% 2 – 33% 7 – 58.SG.art.3% DINOS ART OMIT. so that agreement between them is successfully established. crocodile-MSC.3% INCORRECT +AGR.3% T 6 6 12 6 6 12 In the above presentation. of o ku’vas the-NEUT. teacher-FEM. Here are some characteristic examples: (6) Examiner: Pja’nu ‘ine i roz Whose is the pink Stelios: *dha’skalas – instead of teacher-FEM. it can be observed that 4 out of 5 errors (‘INCORRECT’) are due to incorrect article use. bucketSC.SG.3% 0 1 – 17% 1 – 8. .art. 0 3 – 50% 2ACC.GEN.SG. which both occurred in FEM contexts. the 1 case of incorrect N use also involves incorrect ART use.
+Concord between ART and N In this task.2 Non-existing Words 3. grandmother-FEM. 3. although its gender was indicated in the stimuli by the presence of the indefinite article. Moreover.GEN. the children’s responses were analysed with regard to gender marking on the determiners and adjectives used when referring to the novel nouns. The results of this task are presented in Table 6 below. DINOS STELIOS . Children’s production or determiners and adjectives referring to NPs of indef. 3 out of 4 mistakes involved use of MSC adjectives to refer to FEM or NEUT nouns. grandmother-FEM. Table 6.GEN. Gender agreement characterised the NP.2.GEN.1 Indefinite Article + Noun (Here’s a ‘lekuros) In the tasks that contained nonsense nouns.ART+novel noun. – instead of tis ja’jas the-FEM.(=the teacher’s) (7) Examiner: Pja’nu ‘ine ta ja’lja? Whose are the glasses? Stelios: *ti ja’jas the-FEM.GEN. This can be seen in the following examples. most of the errors did NOT constitute agreement errors.GEN. tis kho’ndris the-FEM.ACC. as the children tended to change the noun’s gender as well. fat-FEM. the stimuli provided to the children contained a indefinite article followed by the novel noun. (=the fat grandmother’s) *ti kho’ndris the-FEM. fat-FEM.GEN. characterised by gender concord MSC FEM NEUT T MSC FEM NEUT T CORR 1 1 2 4 – 67% 2 1 1 4 – 67% INCORR 1 neut 1 msc 0 2 – 33% 0 1 msc 1 msc 2 – 33% T 2 2 2 6 2 2 2 6 What can be clearly seen in the above presentation is that the two children faced difficulties in marking determiners and adjectives for gender when referring to the novel noun.ACC.
NOM. The table below presents the input gender combinations (vertically) and the preferences of the children (horizontally). both genders were equally preferred by both children. of tremo’ni ‘kokini tremo’nis-MSC. Dinos: *tremo’nis *’kokinos -.NOM.NOM. tremo’ni-FEM. since there was inconsistency between the gender of the article and the noun suffix. Gender preferences expressed by the children in the –concord between ART and N condition Preferred Gender STELIOS ART/N MSC/FEM NEUT/MSC FEM/NEUT TOTAL MSC/FEM NEUT/MSC FEM/NEUT TOTAL ARTICLE 1 0 1 2 – 33% 2 0 1 3 – 50% NOUN 0 2 1 3 – 50% 0 2 1 3 – 50% INCORR 1 0 0 1 – 17% 0 0 0 0 TOT 2 2 2 6 2 2 2 6 It is interesting to note that no clear preference towards ART or N gender was observed in the children’s production.inst. Finally.inst. (9) Examiner: E’dho ‘ine mia tremo’ni Here is a-FEM. DINOS . Stelios: *’ena *‘lekuro *‘kitrino -. red-MSC. ‘lekuros-MSC. it allowed us to observe the preference the children would express towards the gender either of the noun or the article.NOM. in combinations where MSC was not present (FEM/NEUT).NOM.NOM. The above behaviour can be clearly seen in the examples provided. Table 7. The method followed in this task was very useful because.NOM.NOM.NOM. in the table).NOM. –Concord between ART and N. However. there.NOM. ‘lekuros-MSC. a clear preference towards MSC gender in combinations where it was present either in the ART or the N was observed in both children’s speech. yellow-NEUT. tremo’ni-FEM. yellow-MSC. ‘lekuro-NEUT. red-MSC.NOM. Stelios: *’enas *tremo’nis *‘kokinos e’ki a-MSC. tremo’nis-MSC. Cases when neither the gender of the article nor that of the noun was preferred and used are considered as errors (marked as INCORR. red-FEM. of ‘lekuros ‘kitrinos a-NEUT.(8) Examiner: E’dho ‘ine ‘enas ‘lekuros Here is a-MSC.
What can also be observed is a preference towards MSC determiners and adjectives when referring to FEM and NEUT Ns by Dinos.2. krilo’pis-MSC red-MSC DINOS . pana’tidha *’kitrino pana’tidha-FEM black-NEUT. pana’tidha-FEM.2 Bare Noun (This is called tamo’ritis) Unambiguous suffix This task was designed in such a way that it could give us the opportunity to observe the children’s ability to identify gender and mark it on adjectives based on the noun suffix alone. (11) Examiner: A’fto ‘lejete krilo’pi. yellow-MSC krilo’pis-MSC Dinos: *krilo’pis *’kokinos. Table 8. The examples below give a comprehensible picture of the children’s behaviour in this task. pana’tidha-FEM yellow-NEUT Dinos: pana’tidha *’mavros pana’tidha *’kitrinos pana’tidha-FEM black-MSC pana’tidha-FEM yellow-MSC 3. whereas Stelios seems to have preferred NEUT gender. Gender marking in determiners and adjectives referring to novel nouns with unambiguous suffix STELIOS MSC FEM NEUT TOTAL MSC FEM NEUT TOTAL CORR 0 0 1 1 – 25% 1 1 0 2 – 50% 1 2 1 1 INCORR neut 1 msc 1 neut 0 3 – 75% 0 msc msc 2 – 50% TOTAL 1 2 1 4 1 2 1 4 This presentation shows serious difficulties in identifying and marking gender correctly based on the N suffix alone. The results are presented in Table 8 below.(10) Examiner: E’dho ‘ine ‘enas pana’tidha Here is a-MSC. (MSC/FEM) Stelios: pana’tidha *’mavro. This is called krilo’pi-FEM Stelios: *’kitrinos *krilo’pis.
(12) Examiner: A’fto ‘leghete ka’lemi This is called ka’lemi-FEM/NEUT Stelios: ka’lemi ‘aspro ke ‘prasino ka’lemi-NEUT white-NEUT and green-NEUT Dinos: ka’lemi *’prasinos ka’lemi-FEM/NEUT green-MSC DINO .) 6 FEM 0 0 0 0 0 0 NEUT 0 2 2 0 0 0 TOT 3 3 6 3 3 6 What we can see here is a clear preference towards MSC interpretation in MSC/NEUT Ns as well as preference towards NEUT in FEM/NEUT Ns by Stelios. absolutely no gender indication of this kind was provided so that the preference of the children between the two possible gender interpretations could be clearly investigated. Children’s gender interpretations of novel nouns with ambiguous suffix PREFERENCE SUFFIX MSC/NEUT FEM/NEUT TOTAL MSC/NEUT FEM/NEUT TOTAL STELIOS MSC 3 1 (INC. Table 9. the children tend to use incorrectly MSC determiners and adjectives with FEM/NEUT nouns. Cases in which the children used neither of the possible interpretations were counted as errors (marked as INC. Taking advantage of the fact that two genders can share the same suffixes in some categories as well as the fact that in those cases gender can be disambiguated either by the presence of a determiner or by spelling differences.Ambiguous Suffix In this task. not even in nouns with FEM/NEUT suffixes. meaning that it could take two possible gender interpretations. in the table). Note that FEM gender was never preferred as an interpretation. the noun suffix was ambiguous with regard to gender.) 4 3 3 (INC. What is more. Table 9 below presents the possible gender interpretations of the input nouns (vertically) and the children’s preferences (horizontally).
we can gain an insight into the way the feature is realised in the two categories as well as in the way these two categories are accessed by the two children. This can be explained by the claim that Gender is interpretable in Ns. involved the production of the plural form of a particular. Therefore. more mistakes were made in masculine than in feminine or neuter nouns.1. the children faced greater difficulties in marking bare nouns for number than for gender. 4. which belongs to the N suffix and is non-interpretable.s By looking at case marking on nouns and definite articles. . however. Comparing the performance in Number versus Gender marking gave us the expected results. as opposed to Number.1 Existing Words In order to be able to determine the status of gender in relation to other agreement features (number and case).4. all of which. As for gender. comparisons of performances in different grammatical categories were also made for each feature. 4. a number of comparisons of the children’s performances in different features were carried out. so that any differences in feature realisation and processing in these categories would be investigated. Art. since it is a feature of the N stem. Figure 3..king—kings).1 Bare Nouns Both children faced greater difficulties in producing plural nouns than singular ones.1. Comparison of children’s performance in gender and number marking in bare nouns Ge nde r and Num be r M ark ing in Bare Nouns 50% 40% E r sco rro res 30% 20% 10% 0% 25% 15% 10% 5% Stelios Dinos Number Gender The above figure indicates higher performance in Gender marking than in Number marking in the use of bare nouns. Discussion 4. as Figure 3 below shows.2 Possessive Case in Ns + Def. Additionally. imparisyllabic noun (vasi’lias—vasi’liadhes .
it is obvious that performance in Gender agreement is clearly better than in Case agreement. Furthermore. as well as their production of correct agreement concerning these two features. Comparison of gender and number marking in NPs Ge nde r and Cas e M ark ing in Noun Phras e s 60% 50% E rror sc ores 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 6% 6% 3% 25% 17% 4% Agreement Articles Nouns Gender Cas e As far as agreement is concerned. Figure 5. 4. Figure 5 below presents the results of this comparison. the overall lower performance in the use of definite articles could be attributed to low accessibility of this category compared to nouns. as well as the way they are realised in different categories.3 Case + Gender in NPs It would be interesting to look into the children’s performance in Case marking compared to Gender marking on articles and nouns.1. Such an analysis will provide an idea about the difference in nature between the two features.Figure 4. . This is probably due to accessibility differences between the two features. This can be accounted for by the claim that definite articles lack LF-interpretable features as opposed to nouns. namely gender and case. namely articles and nouns. as it is processed quite differently for each feature. it is an indication that agreement is active in the grammar of these children. but it is feature-specific. If this lack of interpretable features renders articles less accessible to SLI children. Comparison of possessive case marking on definite articles and nouns Possessive Case 100% 90% 96% C rre t U e o c s 80% 71% 70% 60% 50% Articles Nouns Clearly greater difficulties in marking definite articles for genitive case than in marking nouns can be observed in the production of the two children.
2.Comparing the performance in marking the two features in the two grammatical categories in question. conditions is presented in figure 6 below.2 Non-existing Words 4. A comparison of performance in +ART. either when it was expressed by the article or the noun. whereas the difference in marking nouns for these features is very small (1%). However. In particular.3.1 Unambiguous suffix As expected. as there were a lot of gender-marking errors. and –ART. This fact indicates that there are differences not only in the way different features are processed but also in the way each feature is realised in different grammatical categories. whereas there does not seem to be such an obvious difference between the two categories in gender marking. 4. no such preference was observed. 3 out of 4 mistakes involved use of MSC determiners and/or adjectives to refer to FEM or NEUT nouns.e.3 Bare Nouns 4. definite articles and nouns. Comparing the children’s performance in the two conditions – with and without a determiner in the stimuli – we can probably establish the role of the determiner in gender identification and marking by the SLI children. serious difficulties were faced by the children in this task. Marking articles for case seems to be a lot more difficult than nouns. –Concord between ART+N The aim of this task was to examine the children’s preference towards the gender expressed by the articles or nouns given. the results show quite the opposite. What was observed was a preference towards MSC gender. Figure 6. Both FEM and NEUT genders were equally used when MSC was absent from the input combination. i. we observe a clear difference between gender and case marking in articles.1 Indefinite Article + Noun +Concord between ART+N Although one would expect no difficulties in producing correctly marked determiners and adjectives to refer to novel nouns when an indefinite article was provided in the input. Children’s performance in +ART and –ART conditions of the nonsense words task Ge nde r M ark ing in Conditions of +Article and -Article 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Article Present Article Absent 33% 33% 75% Stelios E r sc res rro o Dinos 50% . which indicates a preference towards MSC gender over FEM and NEUT. 4.
thus. the fact that gender marking on adjectives – also a lexical category – was not completely unproblematic. no such preference was noted. children tended to choose the MSC one.3. whereas Dinos kept wrongly using masculine determiners and adjectives to refer to such nouns. To begin with. This could be an indication – although not a proof – that probably masculine is a form of ‘default’ gender in Modern Greek. but is feature-specific. 5. A second explanation – and under the given assumptions a more plausible one – would be to assume that it is not the lexical presence of the article. This clearly means that the presence of the indefinite article in the stimulus seems to be essential for the identification of the novel word’s gender. Still. with nouns whose suffix involved a MSC/NEUT pair of interpretations. as the results of the non-existing words task reveal. However. can only be accounted for by the lack of interpretability of gender when it is realised in the inflectional suffix – as happens with adjectives – and not in the stem – as it is on nouns. it seems to be active in the grammar of the two SLI children. Still. but the syntactic agreement relation it forms with the noun that acts as a cue. preference towards the gender of the article should have been observed in the –Concord between article and noun condition of the test. Coming to agreement as a syntactic phenomenon.2 Ambiguous suffix It was observed that. 4. gender seems to be more accessible when it comes to nouns than number and case. In all. based on this. it can be assumed that the lexical realisation of gender is more intense in the article as a grammatical category than it is in the noun. We cannot overlook the possibility that this difference could also be attributable to differences in properties between the two categories. the children are able to correctly mark determiners when referring to the novel word. if the feature of gender was more intensely carried by the article. which is an anticipated result if we acknowledge the fact that gender is interpretable on nouns whereas number and case are not. a preference of NEUT over FEM and of MSC over NEUT gender was observed. the results of the present study lead to the following conclusions. as its effects in the identification of gender of novel . Conclusions In the light of the theoretical framework described. this fact could be due to frequency differences of the suffixes chosen – the suffix –as is shared by masculine and neuter nouns but it is more frequent in masculine than in neuter nouns.As the above figure indicates. This agreement effect indicates that agreement as a syntactic function is active in these children’s grammar. both children faced clearly greater difficulties in the task where no indefinite article was given in the input. this apparent difference in accessibility between gender on one hand and case and number on the other cannot constitute solid proof of its interpretability. as was noted above. This fact can be explained in two possible ways. given that nouns constitute a lexical and articles a functional category. Nouns that could be interpreted as FEM or NEUT were mainly interpreted as feminine by Stelios. which has been shown to pose greater difficulties for SLI children. helping the children to identify gender. However. Nevertheless. so that its presence constitutes an important cue for the identification of the noun’s gender. Firstly.
differences in the way gender agreement and case agreement are processed indicate that. LF-Interpretability and language development: A study of verbal and nominal features in Greek normally developing and SLI children. though active. Feature representations and feature-passing operations: the case of Greek nominal inflection. Tsimpli. Brain and Language 77: 432-448. (2001). where children had to choose between two possible gender interpretations (either expressed in article and noun or in the noun suffix alone) could be an indication that masculine functions as a default gender in Greek. MIT Press. However. However. S. Ralli. (1995). Tsimpli.M. School of English. MA: MIT Press.nouns indicate. The effects of a morphosyntactic deficit in the determiner system: The case of a Greek SLI child. A. . Lingua 108: 31-85. (1994). Finally. N. Cambridge.M. (1999). due to the fact that neuter was also preferred by one of the children (although not as frequently as masculine) and since the data is rather limited. the fact that masculine gender was frequently preferred over feminine and neuter in the non-existing words tasks. it is feature-specific. Cambridge. Children with specific language impairment. & Stavrakaki. we should regard the present results as indications rather than as reliable proof. I. The minimalist program. L. (1998). Dept of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics.. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: 19-46. Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on English & Greek.B. I. Leonard. References Chomsky.
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