Acquisition of negation by Spanish children
Introduction. Negation is one of the central categories in human language. The propositional negation operates on sentences as a part of metalanguage and is of a higher logical type than the language it operates upon. Evidence has been provided that the ability to conceive of propositions as true or false is one of the central aspects of language comprehension and use. Negatives in natural languages serve to mark a discrepancy from a positive assumption that someone is presumed to believe.Abstract. Introduction. Negation is one of the central categories in human language. The propositional negation operates on sentences as a part of metalanguage and is of a higher logical type than the language it operates upon. Evidence has been provided that the ability to conceive of propositions as true or false is one of the central aspects of language comprehension and use. Negatives in natural languages serve to mark a discrepancy from a positive assumption that someone is presumed to believe. Purpose. In this article we try to describe the acquisition of negation by Spanish children which can help us to define more precisely its significance and sphere of its functioning. Methods. Negation as one of the first Linguistic phenomena that is grammatically marked in a child’s language is a popular subject of study in language acquisition. Previous studies on children’s negative spoken productions have shown that NO is the most consistently used word throughout the single word utterance period and that the first negative functions children express are rejection, refusal and protest. The Spanish data for our analysis have been taken from López Ornat. Research by this author and other collaborators presents speech recordings of a little girl (María) from 19 months to 4 years. Originality. Other studies have demonstrated that gestures and actions precede grammatical words. At first children’s negations are about objects or people present in the situation and the immediate environment. Conclusion. We consider that in Romance languages there are two possible positions for the negation which are manifested in two different word orders: Neg + Verb and Verb + Neg. For future research we can focus on Spanish children’s use of prosody in negative contexts, the spoken forms of their negations, the production of negative gestures and the negative function expressed.
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