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Grammatical Functions of Verbs in Child Language

Grammatical Functions of Verbs in Child Language The article explores the division of grammatical functions of verbs that, according to the author, is the most suitable for the general Latvian language system and illustrates this division with practical examples of language use. Respectively, all verbs are divided into two groups according to their grammatical functions ­ independent verbs and auxiliary verbs. All groups of verbs used with an auxiliary meaning are explored ­ auxiliary verbs, copulas and modal verbs. This division of verbs is based on the grammaticalization of the verbs, since, formerly, verbs, now used in auxiliary sense, were used in a substantive meaning and only gradually acquired their auxiliary meaning. The use of auxiliary verbs is a signi cant indicator of a grammatical system development of a language, therefore it also attracts the attention of child language researchers, as it allows exploring in what order and in what ways children acquire the corresponding meanings and functions of verbs. The aim of this study is to, within limitations, explore the grammatical functions of verbs used in child language and the order of their acquisition, to analyze peculiar constructions that are formed with auxiliary verbs, as well as to detect problems that should be prevented prior to further research. One of the main problems is the limited child language material available for this study. In order to objectively judge about the ways the grammatical system develops in child language, one should rst conduct full research on language of several children, as this is the only way to observe the order and ways in which certain forms and constructions emerge in child language. Child language has the same division of grammatical functions of verbs as general language. By studying the acquisition sequence of various grammatical functions in child language, it may be concluded that independent verbs are the rst to appear in child language. Children start using auxiliary verbs later ­ initially they use the verbs with an auxiliary meaning that are the most common in the language of their parents and in the most common constructions. The order of their appearance is as follows: copula bt (to be), modi ers gribt, vart (want, can), auxiliary verb bt (to be) (initially present perfect forms of the indicative mood, the rest of the forms emerge signi cantly later). Constructions with auxiliary verbs that are not characteristic to general language are also common in child language. Such constructions are formed at the beginning stages of auxiliary verb application, before the grammatical function system of verbs is fully understood. Key words: auxiliary verb, copula, modal verb, child language. Introduction It is largely believed that in the process of word acquisition children rst start using nouns and only then verbs. The commonly held belief is that learning of verbs is di cult. (See for example Maguire, Hirsh-Pasek, Golinko 2006, 364­365.) However certain processes in child language are just as meaningful as objects, therefore words signifying a process may appear in a child's language quite early, soon after the rst nouns. Initially it is di cult to distinguish between a word being used with the signi cance of a noun or a verb. Yet it is safe to say that the rst verbs that signify an activity are used in their independent meaning and these are the most commonly used verbs in a child's language environment. As a child's language develops, there gradually begin to appear di erent forms of verbs. The peculiarities most clearly detected in research on verbs in child language are just these unusual forms of verbs or a peculiar way of making the forms (for example, the paradigm bt (to be): iru `esmu', iri `esi', iram `esam', irat `esat', Freidenfelds et al. 32; pasakt `pasact', es saksu `pasacsu', Freidenfelds et al. 70), just like formation of words ­ new lexical and morphological formations (jroties `peldties', Freidenfelds et al. 34; karsint `karst', Freidenfelds et al. 36; mma `govs', Freidenfelds et al. 52), semantic changes (Dzenis izgrauza `izkala' caurumu, Freidenfelds et al. 32) and phonetic changes (gibt, glibt `gribt', Freidenfelds et al. 29; nebs `negribas', Freidenfelds et al. 54; tadjs `gadjs', Freidenfelds et al. 76). Yet all of these are traits characteristic to the language of children in general and they largely concern all the other parts of speech. This time the grammatical functions of verbs, and of auxiliary verbs in particular, will be explored closer. Due to the limited number of language materials these peculiarities are somewhat more di cult to distinguish, yet they should be considered and are even more signi cant from the point of view of language system acquisition. Aim of the study Child language in Latvian linguistics has little been studied in this aspect, yet it may provide new insights into the development of a child's language and thinking, as well as provide a signi cant understanding of the development of grammar as such. The course of the study sketches issues that are encountered in studies of this kind and which for now are of signi cance to Latvian linguistics. Respectively, the aim of the study is to, within limits of the study, explore the grammatical functions of verbs encountered in child language as well as the sequence of their appearance by analyzing peculiar constructions of auxiliary verbs and to detect issues to be solved prior to further research. Materials and methods The article explores theoretical literature on grammatical functions of verbs, and it lists and analyzes language examples. Two types of practical language material are used: 1) adult language examples (taken from the Balanced contemporary Latvian language text corpus "miljons-2.0"), see www.korpuss.lv; examples in the text are marked with an abbreviation "K") for detection of grammatical functions of verbs in general language; 2) child language examples (sources: I. J. Freidenfelds, D. Lapne, D. Markus "Brnu valodas vrdnca" ("The Dictionary for Child Language")(2009); RTTEMA Child Language Research Centre children's language database "Jdzienu interpretcija brnu zmjumos" ("Interpretation of Concepts in Children's Drawings"); D. Markus "Brna valoda: no pirm kliedziena ldz pasakai" ("Child Language: From the First Cry to a Story")(2003); D. Markus "Brns run kultras pasaul" ("A Child Speaks in the World of Culture")(2005); V. ReDravia "Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu" ("A Latvian Girl Learns Her First Language") (1993), as well as several observations of the author, self-detected examples). In line with the aims of the study theoretical notions in literature are analyzed, language examples are excerpted and analyzed. Results and conclusions In order to tackle grammatical functions of verbs in child language, they must rst be explored in general language. According to the syntactical functions, verbs can be divided into independent verbs (dziedt, redzt, snigt (to sing, to see, to snow) etc.) and verbs with an auxiliary meaning, i.e., auxiliary verbs (bt, tikt, tapt (to be, to get, to become)), copulas (bt, tikt, tapt, kt, sist (to be, to get, to, come to be, to seem) etc.) and modal verbs (vart, vajadzt, gribt, beigt, laimties (can, need, want, stop, get lucky) etc.). Auxiliary words traditionally are those verbs, which are used for the making of analytical forms of independent verbs, yet all copula function verbs and modal verbs also have the auxiliary meaning. Independent verbs in the nite form when alone in a sentence function as predicates (birds sing), but auxiliary verbs form the predicate together with an independent word ­ auxiliary verbs with an independent verb in a participle form (Putni bija dziedjusi visu vasaru (The birds had sung all summer)), copulas with a nominal or adverb (Vasara bs karsta; Dziedt ir spcinosi (the summer will be hot; singing is empowering)), modi ers with an independent verb in nitive (Es ar gribu dziedt (I, too, want to sing)). In order for the nominal part of the predicate ­ the nominal, the pronoun, the conjugated participle ­, as well as the in nitive and the adverb to function as a predicate, it is needed to have an element that creates the grammatical meanings characteristic to the predicate (respectively, to the independent verb) ­ person, time, expression and voice. Thus there are independent verbs, which initially performed the predicate function by themselves, yet in such predicate constructions, through partial desemanticization now become the unifying element ­ acquire an auxiliary meaning and express the majority of grammatical meanings of a predicate, by leaving the expression of lexical meaning largely to the remaining part of the predicate. Such a division of verbs is based on the grammaticalization process of verbs, respectively, gradual transition of lexical units into grammatical ones, with disappearing or simpli cation of the semantics, syntactic autonomy, morphological structure, phonetic contents of the linguistic element. For example, through grammaticalization the syntactic construction may become a word form, a lexical unit may become an auxiliary word, and an auxiliary word may become an a x (Trask 2000, 141; Kalnaca 2005, 125; VPSV 2007, 133). The above-mentioned separate groups of words are verbs that exist in various levels of grammaticalization, besides a single verb may often exist on various di erent levels. Thus an auxiliary word or an auxiliary verb is "a verb that together with a participle form of an independent verb is used for the creation of an analytical form of a verb time, type, expression or voice" (VPSV 2007, 274). Auxiliary verbs have developed through grammaticalization: independent verb > auxiliary verb. In Latvian language auxiliary verbs are bt, tikt, tapt (to be, to get, to become). For example: Pasaule skas no ts vietas, kur esi dzimis. (The world begins in the place where you are born.) (K1) Tasks meant for children, of course, will not get forgotten. (Protams, netiksot aizmirsti ar brniem domti darbi.) (K) Tas viss ar noved pie t, ka prlieku lielas auzu masas karjera krzes laik top nevis nobremzta, nevis prinstrumentta, bet pilngi degradta. (All this lead to an outcome that careers of too many people during the crisis become not slower, not restructured, but totally degradated.) (K) A copula is a "verb that performs a syntactic auxiliary function in a compound predicate and expresses its grammatical meanings ­ time, person, modality" (VPSV 2007, 334). It is a verb with a weak independent lexical meaning, the main task of which is to link together other elements of sentence structure. Copulas have developed through grammaticalization: independent verb > copula (indirectly in Mlenbahs 1898, 27; Bergmane et al. 1962, 235; Beitia 1964, 8; Valdmanis 1989, 34). In traditional Latvian linguistics copulas are considered to be verbs bt, tikt, tapt, kt (to be, to get, to turn, to become): Esmu lbietis, runju lbiski, bet mans brns ir latvietis. (I am a Liv, I speak the Liv language, but my child is Latvian) (K) Bet, ja ar visas, kas gribja, netika aktrises, tad tomr netika ar tik klaji publiski izrdts, ka darba piramdas pamat dubi vien. (Although everyone, who had wanted to, did not turn into an acress, it was not publically shown that there is only mud at the foot of the work pyramid) (K) Apmram desmit gadus es mcjos, kamr man tapa skaidrs, kas Jos ir jdara. (I have been studying for about ten years, until it became clear to me what needs to be done at Ji) (K) Pvums noteikti jsavc, citdi mauris izsuts, ks 1 "K" indicates examples taken from the Balanced contemporary Latvian language text corpus "miljons-2.0", www.korpuss.lv. 77 brngans un sks pelt. (The mowing should de nitely be collected, or else the lawn will foment, become brown and start to grow moldy. (K) However other verbs are also frequently being used as copulas (in Latvian linguistics these are traditionally called copula verbs2). These have three meanings: 1) The meaning of having a certain characteristic or trait (bt ­ gadties, atgadties, sagadties, justies, sajusties, klties, iznkt, nkties, izrdties, turties, noturties, pieturties, palikt, izdoties, padoties, stvt etc. (to be ­ to happen, to occur, to coincide, to feel, to experience, to get on, to be o , to appear, to manage, to keep, to endure, to hold on to, to stay, to succeed, to give up, to stand etc.): Un pat tad, ja abi esat gadjusies tdi miergi un nosvrti, .. sirds nav brva. (And even if both of you happen to be so calm and balanced, .. the heart is not free.) (K) Bez veiksmes vienmr kljas grti. (Without luck it is always di cult to get on) (K) Auns gan esot padevies nkulgs, bet melngalvju sirne pati par sevi ir laba. (The ram has managed to be puny, but the Blackhead breed itself is good) (K) Malkas snis stv tukss. (The wood shed stays empty) (K) Filiu funkciju un uzdevumu apjoms paliks nemaings. (The volume of functions and tasks of the branches will remain the same.) (K) 2) The meaning of a change in the situation or of a trait (kt, tikt, tapt (to become, to get, to grow) ­ mesties, apmesties, atmesties, samesties, nkt, vrsties, izvrsties, palikt (rush, to settle, to ing, to turn out, to come, to move on, to develop, to remain): (Both games turned out nearly similar) (K) Cep aptuveni 6-8 mintes, kamr malas paliek brnas. (Bake it for approximately 6-8 minutes until the edges turn brown (K) 3) The meaning of an appearance (sist, sisties, likties, izlikties, izskatties, skaitties, sacties (to appear, to seem, to look to be, to pretend, to look, to count, to claim)): Tas, kas reiz sita tls, pksi ir tuvs. (That, which once seemed distant, all of a sudden is close.) (K) Ugunskura gaism gaisi zil krsa liksies zaa, balt ­ dzeltena un violet ­ brna. (In the light of the camp re the light blue color will appear green, the white will appear yellow and the violet ­ brown) (K) Paslaik, ziedsanas laik, astilbju dobe izskats patiesm krsa. (Now during the bloom time the bed of astilbes looks really gorgeous) (K) Man vl jnoskaidro, k sti jpiebv otra ka, lai t skaittos atsevisa bve. (I still need to nd out how to build an outbuilding for it to count as a separate construction) (K) (Krklis 1974, 44­49; Freimane 1985, 56). 2 By observing the distinciton between copulas and copula verbs, the grammaticalization process should be depicted as follows: independent verb > copula verb > copula, respectively, copulas have almost fully desemanticized, while copula verbs have only partly semanicized. They have a lexical meaning, which is more pronounced than that of the copulas, and they are also used as independent verbs more frequently than copulas (except for to be). Therefore copulas only link together the structural elements of a sentence, while copula verbs also give the predicate a signi cant nuance of meaning. The verb to be has grammaticalized in just the same way: bt `augt, kuplot, elpot, mist, stvt utt.' (vis bija `vis auga') > bt `augt utt.' (vis bija liels `vis auga, kuva liels') > bt `bt' (vis bija liels) (to be, to grow, to thicken, to dwell, to stand etc.' (he was `he grew') >to be `to grow etc.,' (he was big `he grew, became big')> to be `to be' (he was big) (Mlenbahs 1898, 25­28; Ambrazas 2006, 155­156). Yet the level of desemantization of verbs used in a copula function is di cult to determine, therefore the distinction between copulas and copula verbs is not considered to be objective. Modi ers (previously also called semantic modi ers ­ Freimane 1985, 32­ 35; Paegle 2003, 91) are auxiliary verbs that together with the in nitive form the predicate or the principal part, by granting it a modal, phasal or coincidental signi cance (for example, respectively Ms gribam strdt; Ms skam strdt; Mums izdevs pastrdt (We want to work; We start to work; We managed to work)). (VPSV 2007, 237) Modi ers have emerged through grammaticalization: independent verb > modi er. By partly being desemanticized, modi ers grant a semantic nuance to an independent verb. By forming the predicate or the principle part (or other constructions), modi ers make the independent verb change formally, yet the initial grammatical meanings in the construction are not lost ­ they are transferred from the independent verb to the auxiliary verb. Similarly to other auxiliary verbs, modi ers express the grammatical meanings of a construction, yet the auxiliary meaning of modi ers can be characterized not only as grammatical but also as semantic. Modi ers with the meaning of a phase name actions indicated with the in nitive. 1) the beginning (mesties, emties, skt, atskt, ieskt etc. (to rush, to dash, to begin, to resume, to start etc.)): Nonkot cit valst un kultr, tu meties baudt visu, ko ceojums piedv. (By going to a di erent country and culture you rush to enjoy everything this trip has to o er.) (K) Tacu tad pamazm tirg ska pardties baravikas, gailenes, brzlapes. (Then little by little penny buns, chanterelles and russulas began to be sold in the market.) (K) Vai t kdreiz atsks pukstt? (Will it resume beating again?) (K); 2) sequel, continuation (nebeigt, palikt, turpint (to pursue, to remain, to continue) (etc.): Esmu prliecints, ka dzve nebeigs mani prsteigt ar turpmk. (I am sure that life will continue to surprise me in the future.) (K) Ja iedzvotji paliek dzvot denacionaliztaj nam, jrins, ka res griesti var strauji kpt. (If citizens remain living in the denationalized buidling, they need to take account of the possibility of an increase in the rent ceiling.) (K) Vl apmram pusstundu turpinm vrt uz lnas uguns (For about half an hour we continue to cook it on low heat) (K); 3) the end (beigt, mitties, prstt, rimties (to stop, to discontinue, to put an end to, settle) etc.): Prn puu audztji beidza makst aizmumu un pama jaunu. (Last year ower growers settled their debt and took out a new loan) (K) Kad brni prstj fantazt? (When do children stop dreaming?) (K). The general groups of modal verbs: 1) Verbs that express a skill, a custom, an ability, a chance or ­ in the form of denial ­ the opposite to that (drkstt, ierast, jaudt, mct, mgt, pagt, prast, spt, vart) (may, to be able, can, use to, manage, know etc.): oti daudzi no mums ieradusi nomaint realitti pret savm domm, iedomm un apsvrumiem.(Many of us are used to changing the reality into own thoughts, fantasies and considerations) (K) Atceros, k brnb mdzu bldties, spljot akls vistias. (When I was a child, I remember, how I used to cheat while playing the blind man's bu .) (K) Lai cilvks sptu kaut ko radt, viam ir jmk ieklausties klusum un ieiet sav ieksj telp. (In order for a person to be able to show something, he or she must know how to listen into the silence and how to enter own inner space.) (K) 2) Verbs that express intention, will, desire, preparation (apemties, censties, gatavoties, grasties, gribt, gribties, mint, tkot, uzdrosinties, vlties u. c.) (to undertake, to intend, to, to try, to prepare, want, to covet, to dare, to wish etc.): Cilvki pasi apms kopt apkrtni. (People themselves undertook to take care of the surroundings.) (K) Centmies nokt uz pareiz cea, bet pc vairku stundu brauksanas atkal iestigm. (We tried to get on the right track, but we got stuck again after driving around for several hours.)(K) Via grib noskaidrot stenbas teoriju, kas atrodas starp faktiem un dzvajm atmim. (She wants to clarify the theory of reality, which exists in between facts and live memories.) (K) 3) Verbs that express reluctance, aversion, hesitation, avoidance (baidties, dergties, kaunties, kautrties, kavties, riebties, vairties, vilcinties etc.) (To dread, to detest, to scruple, to recoil, to avoid, to linger): Parasti pircji baids sos produktus pirkt, jo nezina, k tos pagatavot. (Customers are usually afraid to buy these products, because they do now know hot to prepare them.) (K) Viens no vriesiem atzinies, ka sabiedrb kautrjas nosaukt savu nodarbosanos. (One of the men admitted that he was ashamed to publically state his occupation) (K) Riebjas last mzgo "kurs" vienkrs "kas" viet, adverbu verba viet, bezgalgos prievrdus un to lietojumu neviet. (I hate reading "which" instead of the simple "that", an adverb instead of a verb and the continuous prepositions being misapplied.) (K) 4) Verbs that express inevitability, necessity (pieklties, nkties, vajadzt etc.) (to behoove, to require, to demand): Man pat ncs pielaikot brdu un kt par Ziemassvtku vecti. (I even had to wear a beard and become Santa Claus) (K) Ja nebtu makulatras, vajadztu nocirst 7579 kokus, lai sarazotu atbilstosu papra daudzumu, ls akcijas rkotji. (According to the organizors of the event, if there was no waste paper, we would need to cut down 7579 trees in order to produce the needed amount of paper.) (K) All verbs conveying coincidence have the manifestation kind of signi cance (gadties, izdoties, laimties, trpties) (to happen, to succeed, to get lucky, to coincide etc.): Domju, nu labi, msu paaudzei gadjs piedzimt tdos laikos. (I thought, never mind, our generation happened to be born in times like these.) (K) Kpc latviesiem izdodas vienoties tikai ekstrmos apstkos? (Why do Latvians succeed to unite only during di cult times?) (K) Man laimjs bt staj viet un staj laik. (I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time.) (K) (Krklis 1976, 64­67; Freimane 1985, 32­35). An equivalent division of grammatical functions of verbs exists in child language, especially when exploring child language without any age limitations. The auxiliary verb to be is used in the compound past and present forms of verbs, for instance: Laime ir tas, kas, ja, piemram, tu esi samis dvanu vai izldzies balonu veckiem.(Happiness is when, for exapmle, you have received a gift or have begged for a balloon from your parents.) ­ An 8-year-old; "Jdzieni", ID 65 Sarkangalvte ar omi devs uz mjm pie mammas, jo ome bija kuvusi vesela un jaudja iet Sarkangalvtei ldzi. No t laika vilku Sarkangalvte vairs nebija satikusi. (Red Riding Hood and grandmother went home to her mother, as the grandmother had become t again and was able to come along with Red Riding Hood. Since that time Red Riding Hood had not met the wolf anymore.) ­ A 6-year-old; Markus 2003, 106. Copulas are also common, predominantly the copula bt (to be), and at times other copulas, such as kt (to become): Laime ir imene. (Happiness is family.) ­ A 7-year-old; ,,Jdzieni", ID 68 Citu reizi, kad es nku, man nav bailes, bet soreiz ap sirdi kst nelabk. (At other times, when I come, I am not scared, but this time my heart becomes weak) ­ A 5-yearold; Markus 2003, 105 The most commonly used modi ers in the explored language material are can and want, and also may: Darbs ir tda lieta, kur var nopelnt naudu. (Work is something, where you can earn money) ­ A 7-year-old; "Jdzieni", ID 114 Sarkangalvte izcepa prgus, maizes, salika groz un ... nevarja panest. (Red Riding Hood baked pies and buns, put them in a basket and... could not carry them) ­ A 3-year-old; (Markus 2003, 85). Es labk zmsu, es negribu ststt. (I will draw, I do not want to talk) ­ A 4-yearold; Markus 2003, 89 Kad bites vc medu, nedrkst trauct. (When bees collect honey, you may not bother them.) 5/6 g., (Markus 2007, 121). The very rst verbs that enter a child's language with the meaning of a verb are independent verbs, yet soon after, as sentence constructions are being formed, there also emerge auxiliary verbs (gribu dzert, tas ir suns (I want to drink, that is a dog)). Yet, according to the available language material, initially the diversity of used constructions is limited, just like the number of auxiliary verbs ­ the most commonly encountered auxiliary verbs are applied (or to be more precise, the verbs most common in the language of parents, grandparents and nannies) in the most common constructions: the copula bt (to be), later also kt (to become), modi ers gribt, vart, drkstt (want, can, may) and later on the auxiliary verb bt (to be). Compound tense forms appear later, as it is possible to express approximately the same thing with more simple forms, thus in a more simple way. In constructions with modi ers the auxiliary meaning seems initially not to be felt, for instance: gribu dzert (I want to drink) and gribu sulu (I want juice). In this period of time other meanings that in adult language are expressed with constructions of auxiliary verbs, in child language are expressed with more simple constructions. Essentially that coincides with the view expressed in literature that in child language in general there may initially emerge immature constructions and, only as speech develops, these transfer into mature constructions characteristic to adult language, although that cannot be attributed to all language constructions. Emergence of so-called "non-grammatical" forms in separate constructions prior to adult language forms show that children learn and explore regularities rather than simply acquire expressions. The frequency of these constructions in adult speech must also be taken into account, as it has signi cant impact upon the emergence of such constructions in child language (Brown and Hanlon 2004). Here we need to mention the study conducted by Roger Brown that explores the sequence of certain morphological forms and elements of construction in the speech of three English-speaking children. For instance, plural forms, regularly form simple past, irregular simple past, articles etc., including also the copula ­ both the full and the shortened copula, respectively, the clitical and the full and the shortened auxiliary word. This study acknowledges that out of the auxiliary verbs the rst to emerge in child language is the copula, yet that occurs later than some other morphological forms. The other auxiliary verbs emerge signi cantly earlier, of which rst there emerges the full auxiliary word, clitical copula and last to emerge is the clitical auxiliary word (Brown 2004, 275). Modal verbs have unfortunately not been included in this study. Due to the limited linguistic material available, it is di cult to conclude with certitude concerning the sequence of appearance of usage of auxiliary verbs in the language of Latvian children. However, it can be said that the last ones to appear are auxiliary verbs in perfect tenses. This is also demonstrated by Velta ReDravias language material (Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu", 1993 "A Latvian girl learns her rst language", 1993), where present perfect use ir (is) is rst observed at the age of 2.5. (tagad ir [at]braucis pastnieks3 (the postman has now arrived) ­ 2 years and 6 months; tas lielais [lctis] melno degunu ir [iz]staigjies (that big [bear] with the big nose has been for a walk) ­ 2 years and 9 months; to ir Dainis zmjis (Dainis has drawn this) ­ 2 years and 11 months; (Re-Dravia 1993, 39). The use of past perfect appears later (es bi `biju' dusi seli (I had eaten pudding) 3 years and 9 months, Re-Dravia 1993, 40) and future perfect appears even at a later stage ([kad es prnksu] pasaki, kdi mani brni `lelles' bs bijusi ([when I arrive] tell me what `dolls' my children would have been); vlk vii bs norunjusies `izrunjusies' (later on they will have spoken, `talked through') ­ 4 years and 2 months; Re-Dravia 1993, 40). The distinction between separate verbs in inde nite tenses in the speech of the very same girl appears at the age of 2 (ReDravia 1993, 36). However, the forms of relative and conditional moods are to be registered later than the perfect tense forms in indicative mood that is around 3-4 years of age (Re Dravia 1993, 43). 3 The instances quoted without noting the majority of phonetic peculiarities, since the rest of material does not registrate them in detail. 82 Judging from other language materials, the most often used copulas and modi ers are already used before auxiliary verbs are. Except for the verb bt (to be), other verbs rarely appear in the function of copula, yet they do so in a separate form. For instance, children-narrated fairy tales about Red Riding Hood in the book by Dace Markus: "Brna valoda: no pirm kliedziena ldz pasakai" ("Children's Language: From the First Cry to Story") these verbs are featured in a characteriscically changed meaning and a characteristically inherited meaning: Meitente raudja, raudja, bet tad palika priecga. (The girl cried and cried, but then became glad) Mamma vecmmiai nopirka kmti, un via palika priecga (Mum bought grandmum a hamster and she became glad.) ­ A 5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 100). Sarkangalvte ar omi devs uz mjm pie mammas, jo ome bija kuvusi vesela un jaudja iet Sarkangalvtei ldzi. (Red Riding Hood and grandmother went home to her mother, as the grandmother had become t again and was able to come along with Red Riding Hood.). ­ A 6-year-old; (Markus 2003, 106). Es aiziesu uz vecmmias mjiu, apdsu vecmmiu un izliksos par vecmmiu. (I will go to grandmother's house, eat the grandmother and pretend to be the grandmother.) ­ A 7-year-old; (Markus 2003, 112). More examples of such a usage are to be found narrrated among older children: Vias mte paldza, lai Sarkangalvte aiziet pie vecsmammas, jo via juts slima un vientua. (Her mother asked Red Riding Hood to go see the granmother, since she felt ill and lonely.) ­ A 12-year-old; (Markus 2003, 137). Kad vilks pamods, vis juts oti izslpis. (When the wolf woke up, it felt very thirsty.) ­ A 12-year-old; (Markus 2003, 138). Sarkangalvtei mets mazliet bail, bet, lai omu uzjautrintu, via sacerja dziesmiu par meitenti, kurai nebija bail. (Red Riding Hood became a little scared, but to cheer up the grandmother she made up a song about a girl who wasn't scared.) ­ A 12-year-old; (Markus 2003, 137). An unusual usage of a verb in the form of a copula with characteristically changed meaning is also common: ,,Kpc tev ir tik liels un brns deguns?" ­ ,,Es jau tev teicu, ka man ir tik lielas iesnas, kad es saudu, man deguns izstiepjas sausmgi gars!" ­ ,,Kpc tev ir tik lieli zobi?" ­ ,,Es sen neesmu neko dusi, un mani zobi izstieps tik gari!" ("Why do you have such a long and brown nose?" ­"I already told you, I have such a runny nose, that when I sneeze, my nose stretches terribly long!" ­"Why do you have such big teeth?" ­"I have not eaten anything and my teeth stretched this long".) ­ A 10-year-old; (Markus 2003, 136). When it comes to modi ers, the situation is very similar. The most common, as noted earlier, are: want, can and may, but in several cases others are used, too, most often with a meaning of a phase. Yet, modi ers with several other meanings are also to be found: Un tad Sarkangalvte ska putes last. (And then the Red Riding Hood began to pick owers.) ­ A 3-year-old; (Markus 2003, 129). Kad vii bija izemti r no vdera, vii ska atgties. (When they had been taken out of the belly, they began to recover.) ­ A 7-year-old; (Markus 2003, 112). ,,Laikam nk pavasaris!" teica meitia un tad turpinja ar vilku iet kop. ("I think the spring is coming!" said the girl and then continued to go along the wolf.) ­ A 3-yearold; (Markus 2003, 129). Vilks labdienu nepadeva, bet mets aprt vecmmiu. (The wolf did not say hello, but rushed to eat the grandmother up.) ­ A 5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 102­105 ). Sarkangalvte ar omi devs uz mjm pie mammas, jo ome bija kuvusi vesela un jaudja iet Sarkangalvtei ldzi. (The Red Riding Hood and grandmother went home to her mother, as the grandmother had become t again and was able to accompany the Red Riding Hood.) ­ A 6-year-old; (Markus 2003, 106). [..] vilks nemcja peldt un tpc noslka. ([..] the wolf could not swim and therefore drowned. ) A 4.5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 133). Tomr [Sarkangalvte] uzdrosinjs ienkt ieks un tad saredzja vecmmiu, guldamu krsl. (Nevertheless, [The Red Riding Hood] dared to come in and noticed the grandmother, who was sleeping in the chair.) ­ An 8-year-old; (Markus 2003, 117). An example must be mentioned, in which, in comparison to corresponding expressions in other cases of children's naration, in the conditional mood there is no modi er or, possibly, a copula. This example may, too, indicate that auxiliary verbs generally appear in chid language much later than simple forms of independent verbs: ,,Cik tev liela mute!" ­ ,,Lai tevi labk apst!" ("You have such a big mouth!" ­ "To eat you better!") ­ A 5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 89). In comparison to: ,,Kpc tev ir tik lieli zobi?" ­ ,,Lai vartu apst!" (Why are your teeth so big?" ­ "So I could eat you!"). ­ A 4-year-old; (Markus 2003, 96). Separate attention should be paid to peculiar constructions that emerge in child language and that involve verbs used with an auxiliary meaning. Presumably, particularly in the initial stage of language learning, there are more such constructions, yet only one has come to my attention: es gribu dert `es gribu, lai der' (I want to t `I want that it ts') - 2 years and 3 months es gribu putru uztaist `es gribu, lai (tu) uztaisi putru' (I want to make porridge `I want (you) to make porridge) - 2 years and 7 months Both examples are observed in the language of the same girl and she actively forms such constructions following this example up to the age of 2 years and 9 months and possibly will continue doing so for a longer period of time. The examples use the modi er construction, without indicating the operator of the named action with the second verb. Thus presumably the broadening of meaning of a modi er construction has taken place in the child's perception. Child language has the same division of grammatical functions of verbs as general language. Speci c study should be devoted to the order in which various grammatical functions enter child language. Although the child language material available for this study was limited, it can be concluded that the rst to appear in children's language are independent verbs. Children start using verbs with an auxiliary meaning later, initially children use the verbs with an auxiliary meaning in their most common constructions used in the language of adults (grandparents, nannies, as well as the surrounding language environment in general). They have the following order of appearance: copula bt (to be) and modal verbs gribt, vart (want, can) (for now it is not safe to conclude whether it is copula or one of the modal verbs that comes rst in this sequence), auxiliary verb bt (to be) ( rst used in indicative past perfect forms, the rest of the forms appear considerably later). In child language it is also common to nd constructions with auxiliary verbs that are not characteristic to general language and that reveal the children's creative approach in acquisition and use of the language. These constructions are created in the initial usage stage of auxiliary verbs ­ before the grammatical function system of verbs is fully comprehended. It is generally concluded that in order to conduct an objective study, multiple collections of data and separate studies on children's language development would be required, similar to the edition by V. Re-Dravia ,,Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu" ("A Latvian Girl Learns Her First Language"). Then more safe and thorough conclusions could be drawn on the grammatical functions of verbs, as the majority of currently free to access language material has been collected di erently, serving other research aims and thus does not suit such research on grammatical development. References 1. Ambrazas, V. (2006). Lietuvi kalbos istorin sintaks. [Historical Syntax of Lithuanian]. Vilnius: Lietuvi kalbos institutas, 612 p. (in Lithuanian). 2. Beitia, M. (1964). Lietvrda atkargie locjumi izteicj (ar saitiu bt). Teikuma uzbve. [Noun verb dependent bending (the copula be)]. Rakstu krjums. Rga: LPSR Zintu akadmijas izdevniecba, 7 ­50 p. (in Latvian). 3. Bergmane, A., Blinkena, A., Grabis, R. & Sokols, E. (eds.) (1962). Msdienu latviesu literrs valodas gramatika. II. Sintakse. [Grammar of the modern Latvian literary language]. Rga: LPSR ZA izdevniecba, 932 p. (in Latvian). 4. Brown, R. & Hanlon, C. (2004). Derivational Complexity and Order of Acquisition in Child Speech. In: Lust, B. C. & Foley, C. (eds.) First Language Acquisition: The Essential Readings. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 155­175. 5. Brown, R. (2004). The Order of Acquisition. In: Lust, B. C. & Foley, C. (eds.) First Language Acquisition: The Essential Readings. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 274­278. 6. Freidenfelds, I. J., Lapne, D. & Markus, D. (2009). Brnu valodas vrdnca. [Dictionary of Child Language]. Rga: RPIVA Brnu valodas ptjumu centrs, 91 p. (in Latvian). 7. Freimane, I. (1985). Vienkrss teikums un t paplasinsana. [A simple sentence and its expansion]. Rga: LVU, 107 p. (in Latvian). 8. Jdzienu interpretcija brnu zmjumos. [Interpretation of the concept of children's drawings]. RPIVA Brnu valodas ptjumu centra brnu valodas datubze. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from http://www.rpiva.lv/index.php?mh=bvpc_jedzieni. (in Latvian). 9. Kalnaca, A. (2005). Gramatizsans latviesu valodas sistm. [Grammaticalization in the System of Latvian]. In: Vrds un t ptsanas aspekti. Rakstu krjums. 9. Liepja: Liepjas Pedagoijas akadmija, pp. 125 ­131 (in Latvian). 10. Krklis, J. (1974). Praktikums msdienu latviesu literrs valodas sintaks. I daa. Otrs papildints izdevums. [Practicum on modern Latvian literary language syntax]. Rga: P. Stuckas LVU redakcijas un izdevniecbas daa, 88 p. (in Latvian). 11. Krklis, J. (1976) In nitva sintaktisks potences. Mcbu ldzeklis sintaks. [Potency of in nitive syntactic]. Rga: P. Stuckas Latvijas Valsts universitte, 96 p. (in Latvian). 12. LU Matemtikas un informtikas institts. Ldzsvarots msdienu latviesu valodas tekstu korpuss. miljons-2.0 from www.korpuss.lv. (in Latvian). 13. Maguire, M. J., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinko , R. M. (2006). A Uni ed Theory of Word Learning: Putting Verb Acquisition in Context. In: Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinko , R. M. (eds.) Action Meets Word. How Children Learn Verbs (pp. 364­391). Oxford University Press. 14. Markus, D. (2003). Brna valoda: no pirm kliedziena ldz pasakai. [Child language: From the rst scream till fairytale]. Rga: Rasa, 144 p. (in Latvian). 15. Markus, D. (2005). Brns run kultras pasaul. [Children talks in culture world]. Rga: Rasa, 160 p. (in Latvian). 16. Mlenbahs, K. (1898). Teikums. [Sentence]. Rga: Pcsu ederta apgdba, 104 p. (in Latvian). 17. Paegle, Dz. (2003). Latviesu literrs valodas morfoloija. I daa. [Morphology of the Latvian literary language]. Rga: Zintne, 240 p. (in Latvian). 18. Re-Dravia, V. (1993). Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu. [Latvian girl acquires her rst language]. Rga: Dio Nordik, 112 p. (in Latvian). 19. Trask, R. L. (2000). The Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 403 p. 20. Valdmanis, J. (1989). Teikums. [Sentence]. In: Cepltis, L., Rozenbergs, J. & Valdmanis, J. Latviesu valodas sintakse. Rga: Zvaigzne, pp. 13 ­141 (in Latvian). 21. VPSV ­ Skujia V. (Ed.) (2007). Valodniecbas pamatterminu skaidrojos vrdnca. Autoru kolektvs: Buss, O., Joma, D., Kalnaca, A., Lokmane, I., Markus, D., Ptele, I. & Skujia, V. [Linguistics glossary of key terms]. Rga: LU Latviesu valodas institts, 623 p. (in Latvian). Lecturer, researcher Mag. hum. Baiba Ivulne University of Latvia, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Latvian and General Linguistics Visvalza iela 4a, Riga, Latvia Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, Child Language Research Centre Imantas 7. lnija 1, Riga, Latvia Phone: 29398186 E-mail: baiba.ivulane@gmail.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ad verba Liberorum de Gruyter

Grammatical Functions of Verbs in Child Language

Ad verba Liberorum , Volume 3 (1) – Dec 1, 2011

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de Gruyter
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1691-5771
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10.2478/v10196-011-0027-9
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Abstract

The article explores the division of grammatical functions of verbs that, according to the author, is the most suitable for the general Latvian language system and illustrates this division with practical examples of language use. Respectively, all verbs are divided into two groups according to their grammatical functions ­ independent verbs and auxiliary verbs. All groups of verbs used with an auxiliary meaning are explored ­ auxiliary verbs, copulas and modal verbs. This division of verbs is based on the grammaticalization of the verbs, since, formerly, verbs, now used in auxiliary sense, were used in a substantive meaning and only gradually acquired their auxiliary meaning. The use of auxiliary verbs is a signi cant indicator of a grammatical system development of a language, therefore it also attracts the attention of child language researchers, as it allows exploring in what order and in what ways children acquire the corresponding meanings and functions of verbs. The aim of this study is to, within limitations, explore the grammatical functions of verbs used in child language and the order of their acquisition, to analyze peculiar constructions that are formed with auxiliary verbs, as well as to detect problems that should be prevented prior to further research. One of the main problems is the limited child language material available for this study. In order to objectively judge about the ways the grammatical system develops in child language, one should rst conduct full research on language of several children, as this is the only way to observe the order and ways in which certain forms and constructions emerge in child language. Child language has the same division of grammatical functions of verbs as general language. By studying the acquisition sequence of various grammatical functions in child language, it may be concluded that independent verbs are the rst to appear in child language. Children start using auxiliary verbs later ­ initially they use the verbs with an auxiliary meaning that are the most common in the language of their parents and in the most common constructions. The order of their appearance is as follows: copula bt (to be), modi ers gribt, vart (want, can), auxiliary verb bt (to be) (initially present perfect forms of the indicative mood, the rest of the forms emerge signi cantly later). Constructions with auxiliary verbs that are not characteristic to general language are also common in child language. Such constructions are formed at the beginning stages of auxiliary verb application, before the grammatical function system of verbs is fully understood. Key words: auxiliary verb, copula, modal verb, child language. Introduction It is largely believed that in the process of word acquisition children rst start using nouns and only then verbs. The commonly held belief is that learning of verbs is di cult. (See for example Maguire, Hirsh-Pasek, Golinko 2006, 364­365.) However certain processes in child language are just as meaningful as objects, therefore words signifying a process may appear in a child's language quite early, soon after the rst nouns. Initially it is di cult to distinguish between a word being used with the signi cance of a noun or a verb. Yet it is safe to say that the rst verbs that signify an activity are used in their independent meaning and these are the most commonly used verbs in a child's language environment. As a child's language develops, there gradually begin to appear di erent forms of verbs. The peculiarities most clearly detected in research on verbs in child language are just these unusual forms of verbs or a peculiar way of making the forms (for example, the paradigm bt (to be): iru `esmu', iri `esi', iram `esam', irat `esat', Freidenfelds et al. 32; pasakt `pasact', es saksu `pasacsu', Freidenfelds et al. 70), just like formation of words ­ new lexical and morphological formations (jroties `peldties', Freidenfelds et al. 34; karsint `karst', Freidenfelds et al. 36; mma `govs', Freidenfelds et al. 52), semantic changes (Dzenis izgrauza `izkala' caurumu, Freidenfelds et al. 32) and phonetic changes (gibt, glibt `gribt', Freidenfelds et al. 29; nebs `negribas', Freidenfelds et al. 54; tadjs `gadjs', Freidenfelds et al. 76). Yet all of these are traits characteristic to the language of children in general and they largely concern all the other parts of speech. This time the grammatical functions of verbs, and of auxiliary verbs in particular, will be explored closer. Due to the limited number of language materials these peculiarities are somewhat more di cult to distinguish, yet they should be considered and are even more signi cant from the point of view of language system acquisition. Aim of the study Child language in Latvian linguistics has little been studied in this aspect, yet it may provide new insights into the development of a child's language and thinking, as well as provide a signi cant understanding of the development of grammar as such. The course of the study sketches issues that are encountered in studies of this kind and which for now are of signi cance to Latvian linguistics. Respectively, the aim of the study is to, within limits of the study, explore the grammatical functions of verbs encountered in child language as well as the sequence of their appearance by analyzing peculiar constructions of auxiliary verbs and to detect issues to be solved prior to further research. Materials and methods The article explores theoretical literature on grammatical functions of verbs, and it lists and analyzes language examples. Two types of practical language material are used: 1) adult language examples (taken from the Balanced contemporary Latvian language text corpus "miljons-2.0"), see www.korpuss.lv; examples in the text are marked with an abbreviation "K") for detection of grammatical functions of verbs in general language; 2) child language examples (sources: I. J. Freidenfelds, D. Lapne, D. Markus "Brnu valodas vrdnca" ("The Dictionary for Child Language")(2009); RTTEMA Child Language Research Centre children's language database "Jdzienu interpretcija brnu zmjumos" ("Interpretation of Concepts in Children's Drawings"); D. Markus "Brna valoda: no pirm kliedziena ldz pasakai" ("Child Language: From the First Cry to a Story")(2003); D. Markus "Brns run kultras pasaul" ("A Child Speaks in the World of Culture")(2005); V. ReDravia "Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu" ("A Latvian Girl Learns Her First Language") (1993), as well as several observations of the author, self-detected examples). In line with the aims of the study theoretical notions in literature are analyzed, language examples are excerpted and analyzed. Results and conclusions In order to tackle grammatical functions of verbs in child language, they must rst be explored in general language. According to the syntactical functions, verbs can be divided into independent verbs (dziedt, redzt, snigt (to sing, to see, to snow) etc.) and verbs with an auxiliary meaning, i.e., auxiliary verbs (bt, tikt, tapt (to be, to get, to become)), copulas (bt, tikt, tapt, kt, sist (to be, to get, to, come to be, to seem) etc.) and modal verbs (vart, vajadzt, gribt, beigt, laimties (can, need, want, stop, get lucky) etc.). Auxiliary words traditionally are those verbs, which are used for the making of analytical forms of independent verbs, yet all copula function verbs and modal verbs also have the auxiliary meaning. Independent verbs in the nite form when alone in a sentence function as predicates (birds sing), but auxiliary verbs form the predicate together with an independent word ­ auxiliary verbs with an independent verb in a participle form (Putni bija dziedjusi visu vasaru (The birds had sung all summer)), copulas with a nominal or adverb (Vasara bs karsta; Dziedt ir spcinosi (the summer will be hot; singing is empowering)), modi ers with an independent verb in nitive (Es ar gribu dziedt (I, too, want to sing)). In order for the nominal part of the predicate ­ the nominal, the pronoun, the conjugated participle ­, as well as the in nitive and the adverb to function as a predicate, it is needed to have an element that creates the grammatical meanings characteristic to the predicate (respectively, to the independent verb) ­ person, time, expression and voice. Thus there are independent verbs, which initially performed the predicate function by themselves, yet in such predicate constructions, through partial desemanticization now become the unifying element ­ acquire an auxiliary meaning and express the majority of grammatical meanings of a predicate, by leaving the expression of lexical meaning largely to the remaining part of the predicate. Such a division of verbs is based on the grammaticalization process of verbs, respectively, gradual transition of lexical units into grammatical ones, with disappearing or simpli cation of the semantics, syntactic autonomy, morphological structure, phonetic contents of the linguistic element. For example, through grammaticalization the syntactic construction may become a word form, a lexical unit may become an auxiliary word, and an auxiliary word may become an a x (Trask 2000, 141; Kalnaca 2005, 125; VPSV 2007, 133). The above-mentioned separate groups of words are verbs that exist in various levels of grammaticalization, besides a single verb may often exist on various di erent levels. Thus an auxiliary word or an auxiliary verb is "a verb that together with a participle form of an independent verb is used for the creation of an analytical form of a verb time, type, expression or voice" (VPSV 2007, 274). Auxiliary verbs have developed through grammaticalization: independent verb > auxiliary verb. In Latvian language auxiliary verbs are bt, tikt, tapt (to be, to get, to become). For example: Pasaule skas no ts vietas, kur esi dzimis. (The world begins in the place where you are born.) (K1) Tasks meant for children, of course, will not get forgotten. (Protams, netiksot aizmirsti ar brniem domti darbi.) (K) Tas viss ar noved pie t, ka prlieku lielas auzu masas karjera krzes laik top nevis nobremzta, nevis prinstrumentta, bet pilngi degradta. (All this lead to an outcome that careers of too many people during the crisis become not slower, not restructured, but totally degradated.) (K) A copula is a "verb that performs a syntactic auxiliary function in a compound predicate and expresses its grammatical meanings ­ time, person, modality" (VPSV 2007, 334). It is a verb with a weak independent lexical meaning, the main task of which is to link together other elements of sentence structure. Copulas have developed through grammaticalization: independent verb > copula (indirectly in Mlenbahs 1898, 27; Bergmane et al. 1962, 235; Beitia 1964, 8; Valdmanis 1989, 34). In traditional Latvian linguistics copulas are considered to be verbs bt, tikt, tapt, kt (to be, to get, to turn, to become): Esmu lbietis, runju lbiski, bet mans brns ir latvietis. (I am a Liv, I speak the Liv language, but my child is Latvian) (K) Bet, ja ar visas, kas gribja, netika aktrises, tad tomr netika ar tik klaji publiski izrdts, ka darba piramdas pamat dubi vien. (Although everyone, who had wanted to, did not turn into an acress, it was not publically shown that there is only mud at the foot of the work pyramid) (K) Apmram desmit gadus es mcjos, kamr man tapa skaidrs, kas Jos ir jdara. (I have been studying for about ten years, until it became clear to me what needs to be done at Ji) (K) Pvums noteikti jsavc, citdi mauris izsuts, ks 1 "K" indicates examples taken from the Balanced contemporary Latvian language text corpus "miljons-2.0", www.korpuss.lv. 77 brngans un sks pelt. (The mowing should de nitely be collected, or else the lawn will foment, become brown and start to grow moldy. (K) However other verbs are also frequently being used as copulas (in Latvian linguistics these are traditionally called copula verbs2). These have three meanings: 1) The meaning of having a certain characteristic or trait (bt ­ gadties, atgadties, sagadties, justies, sajusties, klties, iznkt, nkties, izrdties, turties, noturties, pieturties, palikt, izdoties, padoties, stvt etc. (to be ­ to happen, to occur, to coincide, to feel, to experience, to get on, to be o , to appear, to manage, to keep, to endure, to hold on to, to stay, to succeed, to give up, to stand etc.): Un pat tad, ja abi esat gadjusies tdi miergi un nosvrti, .. sirds nav brva. (And even if both of you happen to be so calm and balanced, .. the heart is not free.) (K) Bez veiksmes vienmr kljas grti. (Without luck it is always di cult to get on) (K) Auns gan esot padevies nkulgs, bet melngalvju sirne pati par sevi ir laba. (The ram has managed to be puny, but the Blackhead breed itself is good) (K) Malkas snis stv tukss. (The wood shed stays empty) (K) Filiu funkciju un uzdevumu apjoms paliks nemaings. (The volume of functions and tasks of the branches will remain the same.) (K) 2) The meaning of a change in the situation or of a trait (kt, tikt, tapt (to become, to get, to grow) ­ mesties, apmesties, atmesties, samesties, nkt, vrsties, izvrsties, palikt (rush, to settle, to ing, to turn out, to come, to move on, to develop, to remain): (Both games turned out nearly similar) (K) Cep aptuveni 6-8 mintes, kamr malas paliek brnas. (Bake it for approximately 6-8 minutes until the edges turn brown (K) 3) The meaning of an appearance (sist, sisties, likties, izlikties, izskatties, skaitties, sacties (to appear, to seem, to look to be, to pretend, to look, to count, to claim)): Tas, kas reiz sita tls, pksi ir tuvs. (That, which once seemed distant, all of a sudden is close.) (K) Ugunskura gaism gaisi zil krsa liksies zaa, balt ­ dzeltena un violet ­ brna. (In the light of the camp re the light blue color will appear green, the white will appear yellow and the violet ­ brown) (K) Paslaik, ziedsanas laik, astilbju dobe izskats patiesm krsa. (Now during the bloom time the bed of astilbes looks really gorgeous) (K) Man vl jnoskaidro, k sti jpiebv otra ka, lai t skaittos atsevisa bve. (I still need to nd out how to build an outbuilding for it to count as a separate construction) (K) (Krklis 1974, 44­49; Freimane 1985, 56). 2 By observing the distinciton between copulas and copula verbs, the grammaticalization process should be depicted as follows: independent verb > copula verb > copula, respectively, copulas have almost fully desemanticized, while copula verbs have only partly semanicized. They have a lexical meaning, which is more pronounced than that of the copulas, and they are also used as independent verbs more frequently than copulas (except for to be). Therefore copulas only link together the structural elements of a sentence, while copula verbs also give the predicate a signi cant nuance of meaning. The verb to be has grammaticalized in just the same way: bt `augt, kuplot, elpot, mist, stvt utt.' (vis bija `vis auga') > bt `augt utt.' (vis bija liels `vis auga, kuva liels') > bt `bt' (vis bija liels) (to be, to grow, to thicken, to dwell, to stand etc.' (he was `he grew') >to be `to grow etc.,' (he was big `he grew, became big')> to be `to be' (he was big) (Mlenbahs 1898, 25­28; Ambrazas 2006, 155­156). Yet the level of desemantization of verbs used in a copula function is di cult to determine, therefore the distinction between copulas and copula verbs is not considered to be objective. Modi ers (previously also called semantic modi ers ­ Freimane 1985, 32­ 35; Paegle 2003, 91) are auxiliary verbs that together with the in nitive form the predicate or the principal part, by granting it a modal, phasal or coincidental signi cance (for example, respectively Ms gribam strdt; Ms skam strdt; Mums izdevs pastrdt (We want to work; We start to work; We managed to work)). (VPSV 2007, 237) Modi ers have emerged through grammaticalization: independent verb > modi er. By partly being desemanticized, modi ers grant a semantic nuance to an independent verb. By forming the predicate or the principle part (or other constructions), modi ers make the independent verb change formally, yet the initial grammatical meanings in the construction are not lost ­ they are transferred from the independent verb to the auxiliary verb. Similarly to other auxiliary verbs, modi ers express the grammatical meanings of a construction, yet the auxiliary meaning of modi ers can be characterized not only as grammatical but also as semantic. Modi ers with the meaning of a phase name actions indicated with the in nitive. 1) the beginning (mesties, emties, skt, atskt, ieskt etc. (to rush, to dash, to begin, to resume, to start etc.)): Nonkot cit valst un kultr, tu meties baudt visu, ko ceojums piedv. (By going to a di erent country and culture you rush to enjoy everything this trip has to o er.) (K) Tacu tad pamazm tirg ska pardties baravikas, gailenes, brzlapes. (Then little by little penny buns, chanterelles and russulas began to be sold in the market.) (K) Vai t kdreiz atsks pukstt? (Will it resume beating again?) (K); 2) sequel, continuation (nebeigt, palikt, turpint (to pursue, to remain, to continue) (etc.): Esmu prliecints, ka dzve nebeigs mani prsteigt ar turpmk. (I am sure that life will continue to surprise me in the future.) (K) Ja iedzvotji paliek dzvot denacionaliztaj nam, jrins, ka res griesti var strauji kpt. (If citizens remain living in the denationalized buidling, they need to take account of the possibility of an increase in the rent ceiling.) (K) Vl apmram pusstundu turpinm vrt uz lnas uguns (For about half an hour we continue to cook it on low heat) (K); 3) the end (beigt, mitties, prstt, rimties (to stop, to discontinue, to put an end to, settle) etc.): Prn puu audztji beidza makst aizmumu un pama jaunu. (Last year ower growers settled their debt and took out a new loan) (K) Kad brni prstj fantazt? (When do children stop dreaming?) (K). The general groups of modal verbs: 1) Verbs that express a skill, a custom, an ability, a chance or ­ in the form of denial ­ the opposite to that (drkstt, ierast, jaudt, mct, mgt, pagt, prast, spt, vart) (may, to be able, can, use to, manage, know etc.): oti daudzi no mums ieradusi nomaint realitti pret savm domm, iedomm un apsvrumiem.(Many of us are used to changing the reality into own thoughts, fantasies and considerations) (K) Atceros, k brnb mdzu bldties, spljot akls vistias. (When I was a child, I remember, how I used to cheat while playing the blind man's bu .) (K) Lai cilvks sptu kaut ko radt, viam ir jmk ieklausties klusum un ieiet sav ieksj telp. (In order for a person to be able to show something, he or she must know how to listen into the silence and how to enter own inner space.) (K) 2) Verbs that express intention, will, desire, preparation (apemties, censties, gatavoties, grasties, gribt, gribties, mint, tkot, uzdrosinties, vlties u. c.) (to undertake, to intend, to, to try, to prepare, want, to covet, to dare, to wish etc.): Cilvki pasi apms kopt apkrtni. (People themselves undertook to take care of the surroundings.) (K) Centmies nokt uz pareiz cea, bet pc vairku stundu brauksanas atkal iestigm. (We tried to get on the right track, but we got stuck again after driving around for several hours.)(K) Via grib noskaidrot stenbas teoriju, kas atrodas starp faktiem un dzvajm atmim. (She wants to clarify the theory of reality, which exists in between facts and live memories.) (K) 3) Verbs that express reluctance, aversion, hesitation, avoidance (baidties, dergties, kaunties, kautrties, kavties, riebties, vairties, vilcinties etc.) (To dread, to detest, to scruple, to recoil, to avoid, to linger): Parasti pircji baids sos produktus pirkt, jo nezina, k tos pagatavot. (Customers are usually afraid to buy these products, because they do now know hot to prepare them.) (K) Viens no vriesiem atzinies, ka sabiedrb kautrjas nosaukt savu nodarbosanos. (One of the men admitted that he was ashamed to publically state his occupation) (K) Riebjas last mzgo "kurs" vienkrs "kas" viet, adverbu verba viet, bezgalgos prievrdus un to lietojumu neviet. (I hate reading "which" instead of the simple "that", an adverb instead of a verb and the continuous prepositions being misapplied.) (K) 4) Verbs that express inevitability, necessity (pieklties, nkties, vajadzt etc.) (to behoove, to require, to demand): Man pat ncs pielaikot brdu un kt par Ziemassvtku vecti. (I even had to wear a beard and become Santa Claus) (K) Ja nebtu makulatras, vajadztu nocirst 7579 kokus, lai sarazotu atbilstosu papra daudzumu, ls akcijas rkotji. (According to the organizors of the event, if there was no waste paper, we would need to cut down 7579 trees in order to produce the needed amount of paper.) (K) All verbs conveying coincidence have the manifestation kind of signi cance (gadties, izdoties, laimties, trpties) (to happen, to succeed, to get lucky, to coincide etc.): Domju, nu labi, msu paaudzei gadjs piedzimt tdos laikos. (I thought, never mind, our generation happened to be born in times like these.) (K) Kpc latviesiem izdodas vienoties tikai ekstrmos apstkos? (Why do Latvians succeed to unite only during di cult times?) (K) Man laimjs bt staj viet un staj laik. (I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time.) (K) (Krklis 1976, 64­67; Freimane 1985, 32­35). An equivalent division of grammatical functions of verbs exists in child language, especially when exploring child language without any age limitations. The auxiliary verb to be is used in the compound past and present forms of verbs, for instance: Laime ir tas, kas, ja, piemram, tu esi samis dvanu vai izldzies balonu veckiem.(Happiness is when, for exapmle, you have received a gift or have begged for a balloon from your parents.) ­ An 8-year-old; "Jdzieni", ID 65 Sarkangalvte ar omi devs uz mjm pie mammas, jo ome bija kuvusi vesela un jaudja iet Sarkangalvtei ldzi. No t laika vilku Sarkangalvte vairs nebija satikusi. (Red Riding Hood and grandmother went home to her mother, as the grandmother had become t again and was able to come along with Red Riding Hood. Since that time Red Riding Hood had not met the wolf anymore.) ­ A 6-year-old; Markus 2003, 106. Copulas are also common, predominantly the copula bt (to be), and at times other copulas, such as kt (to become): Laime ir imene. (Happiness is family.) ­ A 7-year-old; ,,Jdzieni", ID 68 Citu reizi, kad es nku, man nav bailes, bet soreiz ap sirdi kst nelabk. (At other times, when I come, I am not scared, but this time my heart becomes weak) ­ A 5-yearold; Markus 2003, 105 The most commonly used modi ers in the explored language material are can and want, and also may: Darbs ir tda lieta, kur var nopelnt naudu. (Work is something, where you can earn money) ­ A 7-year-old; "Jdzieni", ID 114 Sarkangalvte izcepa prgus, maizes, salika groz un ... nevarja panest. (Red Riding Hood baked pies and buns, put them in a basket and... could not carry them) ­ A 3-year-old; (Markus 2003, 85). Es labk zmsu, es negribu ststt. (I will draw, I do not want to talk) ­ A 4-yearold; Markus 2003, 89 Kad bites vc medu, nedrkst trauct. (When bees collect honey, you may not bother them.) 5/6 g., (Markus 2007, 121). The very rst verbs that enter a child's language with the meaning of a verb are independent verbs, yet soon after, as sentence constructions are being formed, there also emerge auxiliary verbs (gribu dzert, tas ir suns (I want to drink, that is a dog)). Yet, according to the available language material, initially the diversity of used constructions is limited, just like the number of auxiliary verbs ­ the most commonly encountered auxiliary verbs are applied (or to be more precise, the verbs most common in the language of parents, grandparents and nannies) in the most common constructions: the copula bt (to be), later also kt (to become), modi ers gribt, vart, drkstt (want, can, may) and later on the auxiliary verb bt (to be). Compound tense forms appear later, as it is possible to express approximately the same thing with more simple forms, thus in a more simple way. In constructions with modi ers the auxiliary meaning seems initially not to be felt, for instance: gribu dzert (I want to drink) and gribu sulu (I want juice). In this period of time other meanings that in adult language are expressed with constructions of auxiliary verbs, in child language are expressed with more simple constructions. Essentially that coincides with the view expressed in literature that in child language in general there may initially emerge immature constructions and, only as speech develops, these transfer into mature constructions characteristic to adult language, although that cannot be attributed to all language constructions. Emergence of so-called "non-grammatical" forms in separate constructions prior to adult language forms show that children learn and explore regularities rather than simply acquire expressions. The frequency of these constructions in adult speech must also be taken into account, as it has signi cant impact upon the emergence of such constructions in child language (Brown and Hanlon 2004). Here we need to mention the study conducted by Roger Brown that explores the sequence of certain morphological forms and elements of construction in the speech of three English-speaking children. For instance, plural forms, regularly form simple past, irregular simple past, articles etc., including also the copula ­ both the full and the shortened copula, respectively, the clitical and the full and the shortened auxiliary word. This study acknowledges that out of the auxiliary verbs the rst to emerge in child language is the copula, yet that occurs later than some other morphological forms. The other auxiliary verbs emerge signi cantly earlier, of which rst there emerges the full auxiliary word, clitical copula and last to emerge is the clitical auxiliary word (Brown 2004, 275). Modal verbs have unfortunately not been included in this study. Due to the limited linguistic material available, it is di cult to conclude with certitude concerning the sequence of appearance of usage of auxiliary verbs in the language of Latvian children. However, it can be said that the last ones to appear are auxiliary verbs in perfect tenses. This is also demonstrated by Velta ReDravias language material (Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu", 1993 "A Latvian girl learns her rst language", 1993), where present perfect use ir (is) is rst observed at the age of 2.5. (tagad ir [at]braucis pastnieks3 (the postman has now arrived) ­ 2 years and 6 months; tas lielais [lctis] melno degunu ir [iz]staigjies (that big [bear] with the big nose has been for a walk) ­ 2 years and 9 months; to ir Dainis zmjis (Dainis has drawn this) ­ 2 years and 11 months; (Re-Dravia 1993, 39). The use of past perfect appears later (es bi `biju' dusi seli (I had eaten pudding) 3 years and 9 months, Re-Dravia 1993, 40) and future perfect appears even at a later stage ([kad es prnksu] pasaki, kdi mani brni `lelles' bs bijusi ([when I arrive] tell me what `dolls' my children would have been); vlk vii bs norunjusies `izrunjusies' (later on they will have spoken, `talked through') ­ 4 years and 2 months; Re-Dravia 1993, 40). The distinction between separate verbs in inde nite tenses in the speech of the very same girl appears at the age of 2 (ReDravia 1993, 36). However, the forms of relative and conditional moods are to be registered later than the perfect tense forms in indicative mood that is around 3-4 years of age (Re Dravia 1993, 43). 3 The instances quoted without noting the majority of phonetic peculiarities, since the rest of material does not registrate them in detail. 82 Judging from other language materials, the most often used copulas and modi ers are already used before auxiliary verbs are. Except for the verb bt (to be), other verbs rarely appear in the function of copula, yet they do so in a separate form. For instance, children-narrated fairy tales about Red Riding Hood in the book by Dace Markus: "Brna valoda: no pirm kliedziena ldz pasakai" ("Children's Language: From the First Cry to Story") these verbs are featured in a characteriscically changed meaning and a characteristically inherited meaning: Meitente raudja, raudja, bet tad palika priecga. (The girl cried and cried, but then became glad) Mamma vecmmiai nopirka kmti, un via palika priecga (Mum bought grandmum a hamster and she became glad.) ­ A 5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 100). Sarkangalvte ar omi devs uz mjm pie mammas, jo ome bija kuvusi vesela un jaudja iet Sarkangalvtei ldzi. (Red Riding Hood and grandmother went home to her mother, as the grandmother had become t again and was able to come along with Red Riding Hood.). ­ A 6-year-old; (Markus 2003, 106). Es aiziesu uz vecmmias mjiu, apdsu vecmmiu un izliksos par vecmmiu. (I will go to grandmother's house, eat the grandmother and pretend to be the grandmother.) ­ A 7-year-old; (Markus 2003, 112). More examples of such a usage are to be found narrrated among older children: Vias mte paldza, lai Sarkangalvte aiziet pie vecsmammas, jo via juts slima un vientua. (Her mother asked Red Riding Hood to go see the granmother, since she felt ill and lonely.) ­ A 12-year-old; (Markus 2003, 137). Kad vilks pamods, vis juts oti izslpis. (When the wolf woke up, it felt very thirsty.) ­ A 12-year-old; (Markus 2003, 138). Sarkangalvtei mets mazliet bail, bet, lai omu uzjautrintu, via sacerja dziesmiu par meitenti, kurai nebija bail. (Red Riding Hood became a little scared, but to cheer up the grandmother she made up a song about a girl who wasn't scared.) ­ A 12-year-old; (Markus 2003, 137). An unusual usage of a verb in the form of a copula with characteristically changed meaning is also common: ,,Kpc tev ir tik liels un brns deguns?" ­ ,,Es jau tev teicu, ka man ir tik lielas iesnas, kad es saudu, man deguns izstiepjas sausmgi gars!" ­ ,,Kpc tev ir tik lieli zobi?" ­ ,,Es sen neesmu neko dusi, un mani zobi izstieps tik gari!" ("Why do you have such a long and brown nose?" ­"I already told you, I have such a runny nose, that when I sneeze, my nose stretches terribly long!" ­"Why do you have such big teeth?" ­"I have not eaten anything and my teeth stretched this long".) ­ A 10-year-old; (Markus 2003, 136). When it comes to modi ers, the situation is very similar. The most common, as noted earlier, are: want, can and may, but in several cases others are used, too, most often with a meaning of a phase. Yet, modi ers with several other meanings are also to be found: Un tad Sarkangalvte ska putes last. (And then the Red Riding Hood began to pick owers.) ­ A 3-year-old; (Markus 2003, 129). Kad vii bija izemti r no vdera, vii ska atgties. (When they had been taken out of the belly, they began to recover.) ­ A 7-year-old; (Markus 2003, 112). ,,Laikam nk pavasaris!" teica meitia un tad turpinja ar vilku iet kop. ("I think the spring is coming!" said the girl and then continued to go along the wolf.) ­ A 3-yearold; (Markus 2003, 129). Vilks labdienu nepadeva, bet mets aprt vecmmiu. (The wolf did not say hello, but rushed to eat the grandmother up.) ­ A 5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 102­105 ). Sarkangalvte ar omi devs uz mjm pie mammas, jo ome bija kuvusi vesela un jaudja iet Sarkangalvtei ldzi. (The Red Riding Hood and grandmother went home to her mother, as the grandmother had become t again and was able to accompany the Red Riding Hood.) ­ A 6-year-old; (Markus 2003, 106). [..] vilks nemcja peldt un tpc noslka. ([..] the wolf could not swim and therefore drowned. ) A 4.5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 133). Tomr [Sarkangalvte] uzdrosinjs ienkt ieks un tad saredzja vecmmiu, guldamu krsl. (Nevertheless, [The Red Riding Hood] dared to come in and noticed the grandmother, who was sleeping in the chair.) ­ An 8-year-old; (Markus 2003, 117). An example must be mentioned, in which, in comparison to corresponding expressions in other cases of children's naration, in the conditional mood there is no modi er or, possibly, a copula. This example may, too, indicate that auxiliary verbs generally appear in chid language much later than simple forms of independent verbs: ,,Cik tev liela mute!" ­ ,,Lai tevi labk apst!" ("You have such a big mouth!" ­ "To eat you better!") ­ A 5-year-old; (Markus 2003, 89). In comparison to: ,,Kpc tev ir tik lieli zobi?" ­ ,,Lai vartu apst!" (Why are your teeth so big?" ­ "So I could eat you!"). ­ A 4-year-old; (Markus 2003, 96). Separate attention should be paid to peculiar constructions that emerge in child language and that involve verbs used with an auxiliary meaning. Presumably, particularly in the initial stage of language learning, there are more such constructions, yet only one has come to my attention: es gribu dert `es gribu, lai der' (I want to t `I want that it ts') - 2 years and 3 months es gribu putru uztaist `es gribu, lai (tu) uztaisi putru' (I want to make porridge `I want (you) to make porridge) - 2 years and 7 months Both examples are observed in the language of the same girl and she actively forms such constructions following this example up to the age of 2 years and 9 months and possibly will continue doing so for a longer period of time. The examples use the modi er construction, without indicating the operator of the named action with the second verb. Thus presumably the broadening of meaning of a modi er construction has taken place in the child's perception. Child language has the same division of grammatical functions of verbs as general language. Speci c study should be devoted to the order in which various grammatical functions enter child language. Although the child language material available for this study was limited, it can be concluded that the rst to appear in children's language are independent verbs. Children start using verbs with an auxiliary meaning later, initially children use the verbs with an auxiliary meaning in their most common constructions used in the language of adults (grandparents, nannies, as well as the surrounding language environment in general). They have the following order of appearance: copula bt (to be) and modal verbs gribt, vart (want, can) (for now it is not safe to conclude whether it is copula or one of the modal verbs that comes rst in this sequence), auxiliary verb bt (to be) ( rst used in indicative past perfect forms, the rest of the forms appear considerably later). In child language it is also common to nd constructions with auxiliary verbs that are not characteristic to general language and that reveal the children's creative approach in acquisition and use of the language. These constructions are created in the initial usage stage of auxiliary verbs ­ before the grammatical function system of verbs is fully comprehended. It is generally concluded that in order to conduct an objective study, multiple collections of data and separate studies on children's language development would be required, similar to the edition by V. Re-Dravia ,,Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu" ("A Latvian Girl Learns Her First Language"). Then more safe and thorough conclusions could be drawn on the grammatical functions of verbs, as the majority of currently free to access language material has been collected di erently, serving other research aims and thus does not suit such research on grammatical development. References 1. Ambrazas, V. (2006). Lietuvi kalbos istorin sintaks. [Historical Syntax of Lithuanian]. Vilnius: Lietuvi kalbos institutas, 612 p. (in Lithuanian). 2. Beitia, M. (1964). Lietvrda atkargie locjumi izteicj (ar saitiu bt). Teikuma uzbve. [Noun verb dependent bending (the copula be)]. Rakstu krjums. Rga: LPSR Zintu akadmijas izdevniecba, 7 ­50 p. (in Latvian). 3. Bergmane, A., Blinkena, A., Grabis, R. & Sokols, E. (eds.) (1962). Msdienu latviesu literrs valodas gramatika. II. Sintakse. [Grammar of the modern Latvian literary language]. Rga: LPSR ZA izdevniecba, 932 p. (in Latvian). 4. Brown, R. & Hanlon, C. (2004). Derivational Complexity and Order of Acquisition in Child Speech. In: Lust, B. C. & Foley, C. (eds.) First Language Acquisition: The Essential Readings. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 155­175. 5. Brown, R. (2004). The Order of Acquisition. In: Lust, B. C. & Foley, C. (eds.) First Language Acquisition: The Essential Readings. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 274­278. 6. Freidenfelds, I. J., Lapne, D. & Markus, D. (2009). Brnu valodas vrdnca. [Dictionary of Child Language]. Rga: RPIVA Brnu valodas ptjumu centrs, 91 p. (in Latvian). 7. Freimane, I. (1985). Vienkrss teikums un t paplasinsana. [A simple sentence and its expansion]. Rga: LVU, 107 p. (in Latvian). 8. Jdzienu interpretcija brnu zmjumos. [Interpretation of the concept of children's drawings]. RPIVA Brnu valodas ptjumu centra brnu valodas datubze. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from http://www.rpiva.lv/index.php?mh=bvpc_jedzieni. (in Latvian). 9. Kalnaca, A. (2005). Gramatizsans latviesu valodas sistm. [Grammaticalization in the System of Latvian]. In: Vrds un t ptsanas aspekti. Rakstu krjums. 9. Liepja: Liepjas Pedagoijas akadmija, pp. 125 ­131 (in Latvian). 10. Krklis, J. (1974). Praktikums msdienu latviesu literrs valodas sintaks. I daa. Otrs papildints izdevums. [Practicum on modern Latvian literary language syntax]. Rga: P. Stuckas LVU redakcijas un izdevniecbas daa, 88 p. (in Latvian). 11. Krklis, J. (1976) In nitva sintaktisks potences. Mcbu ldzeklis sintaks. [Potency of in nitive syntactic]. Rga: P. Stuckas Latvijas Valsts universitte, 96 p. (in Latvian). 12. LU Matemtikas un informtikas institts. Ldzsvarots msdienu latviesu valodas tekstu korpuss. miljons-2.0 from www.korpuss.lv. (in Latvian). 13. Maguire, M. J., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinko , R. M. (2006). A Uni ed Theory of Word Learning: Putting Verb Acquisition in Context. In: Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinko , R. M. (eds.) Action Meets Word. How Children Learn Verbs (pp. 364­391). Oxford University Press. 14. Markus, D. (2003). Brna valoda: no pirm kliedziena ldz pasakai. [Child language: From the rst scream till fairytale]. Rga: Rasa, 144 p. (in Latvian). 15. Markus, D. (2005). Brns run kultras pasaul. [Children talks in culture world]. Rga: Rasa, 160 p. (in Latvian). 16. Mlenbahs, K. (1898). Teikums. [Sentence]. Rga: Pcsu ederta apgdba, 104 p. (in Latvian). 17. Paegle, Dz. (2003). Latviesu literrs valodas morfoloija. I daa. [Morphology of the Latvian literary language]. Rga: Zintne, 240 p. (in Latvian). 18. Re-Dravia, V. (1993). Latviesu meitene apgst savu pirmo valodu. [Latvian girl acquires her rst language]. Rga: Dio Nordik, 112 p. (in Latvian). 19. Trask, R. L. (2000). The Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 403 p. 20. Valdmanis, J. (1989). Teikums. [Sentence]. In: Cepltis, L., Rozenbergs, J. & Valdmanis, J. Latviesu valodas sintakse. Rga: Zvaigzne, pp. 13 ­141 (in Latvian). 21. VPSV ­ Skujia V. (Ed.) (2007). Valodniecbas pamatterminu skaidrojos vrdnca. Autoru kolektvs: Buss, O., Joma, D., Kalnaca, A., Lokmane, I., Markus, D., Ptele, I. & Skujia, V. [Linguistics glossary of key terms]. Rga: LU Latviesu valodas institts, 623 p. (in Latvian). Lecturer, researcher Mag. hum. Baiba Ivulne University of Latvia, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Latvian and General Linguistics Visvalza iela 4a, Riga, Latvia Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, Child Language Research Centre Imantas 7. lnija 1, Riga, Latvia Phone: 29398186 E-mail: baiba.ivulane@gmail.com

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Ad verba Liberorumde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2011

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