Raising or control? Children's early get-passives

Megan Gotowski


This research study examines children’s comprehension of the get-passive, to determine (i) what age the get-passive is acquired, (ii) how children perform with ‘get’ relative to ‘be’, and (iii) what structure(s) children assign to the get-passive. We argue that the results of two experiments (with children around 3-4 years to 6 years) indicate that young children may initially assume a causative/control analysis of the get-passive, allowing them to comprehend those that have animate subjects alone. By around age 4, children comprehend both actional get- and be-passives, and interpret the by-phrase as containing the agent of the action.


syntax; get-passives

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v2i0.4027

Copyright (c) 2017 Megan Gotowski

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