[PS-1.87] Verb classes and Discourse Anchored Variables in the Acquisition of L1 Italian

Lorusso, P. 1, 2

1 Università di Firenze
2 CRIL Università del Salento

Verbs differ for the number of arguments and for the underlying syntactic representations. Different studies have shown that children early differentiate Unaccusatives (intransitive verbs with internal argument: undergoers/patients) from other verb classes in different languages (Shimada and Sano, 2007, Friedmann ,2007, Lorusso, 2014). We will show that the internal informational structure of each verb class (internal arguments - new information / external arguments old information) interacts with discourse variables: the split between discourse participants (1st and 2nd persons) and the and ?event-anchored referents (3rd person) influence the syntactic pattern of appearance of early arguments with different verb classes.
In this respect we will propose data on the distribution, the position and the person of overt subjects and clitics along verb classes in a corpus of spontaneous speech:
? Unaccusatives are produced with higher number of 3rd person postverbal subjects ina a low focus position within the VP (Belletti, 2004, Vernice & Guasti 2013)
? 1st and 2nd person subjects are more likely to be omitted since they can be inferred by the discourse.
? While for accusative clitics the 3rd person morphology is used 90% of the times (both adults and children), for dative clitics children use more 1st and 2nd person than adults.