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      Effects of syntactic structure on the comprehension of clefts

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          Abstract

          The present paper presents an experiment testing Portuguese-speaking children’s comprehension of different types of subject and object clefts – é que clefts, standard clefts and pseudoclefts. We consider previous studies that explain asymmetric difficulties in the comprehension of structures with object A-bar extraction as an effect of featural intervention, and we show that only é que clefts and standard clefts (as opposed to pseudoclefts) involve a configuration justifying intervention along these lines. Featural intervention accounts therefore predict that comprehension asymmetries between subject and object clefts are only found in é que clefts and in standard clefts, but not in pseudoclefts. Our study supports the featural intervention account. In addition, it also supports the claim that different syntactic structures underlie the different types of clefts under analysis: pseudoclefts are distinguished from other clefts for not involving extraction of the clefted constituent in an intervention configuration.

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          Most cited references24

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          Relativized relatives: Types of intervention in the acquisition of A-bar dependencies

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            Identificational focus versus information focus

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              Does gender make a difference? Comparing the effect of gender on children's comprehension of relative clauses in Hebrew and Italian

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                04 July 2019
                2019
                : 4
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]CLUNL/NOVA-FCSH, Av. Berna, Lisboa, PT
                [2 ]Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Letras, Centro de Linguística, Alameda da Universidade, Lisboa, PT
                [3 ]Université Paris Diderot, Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle, UMR, Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, place Paul Ricœur, Paris, FR
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.645
                e451037a-bbb0-479d-ace3-a51b5011ec66
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Research

                General linguistics,Linguistics & Semiotics
                subject-object asymmetries,European Portuguese,featural intervention,clefts,acquisition

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