What is it about?

Children can represent grammar in the brain in various ways. For example, grammatical structures can be tied to particular words or involve abstract categories such as "verb". Here we present evidence from children's productions that show that they represent at least some aspects of grammar abstractly before the age of three.

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Why is it important?

This is the first production study that shows that children under three represent at least some aspects of grammar through abstract categories. Unlike previous studies, we used a task that is argued to directly tap into representations of grammar.

Perspectives

This article contributes to one of the big debates in the language acquisition literature, and I hope that it will generate a lot of discussion.

Anouschka Foltz
University of Graz

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This page is a summary of: Evidence for robust abstract syntactic representations in production before age three, First Language, February 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0142723720905919.
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