Development of directives in child language: A case study of Czech

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Abstract

In this article, the longitudinal development of directives in first-language acquisition is described, and examples of the development of directive speech acts in one Czech child from the ages of 2.8 to 4.1 are included. The results show that the child acquires communicative strategies gradually and that he usually prefers one concrete strategy initially, which is later replaced by a new strategy corresponding with the acquisition of morphological categories. The child’s grammatical development is divided into two stages: the stage of protomorphology, when the child acquires basic morphological categories, and the stage of morphology proper / modular morphology, when the child uses a variety of grammatical means. In the stage of morphology proper, pragmatic factors become more influential as the child is no longer limited by a lack of grammatical competence.

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