(Pseudo-)Relatives and prepositional infinitival constructions in the acquisition of European Portuguese

João Costa, Bruno Fernandes, Stéphanie Vaz, Nino Grillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature on attachment preferences in relative clauses discusses a crosslinguistic difference in attachment, which, as Fodor (1998a) remarks, poses problems for acquisition. Following previous claims on the universality of the parser, and attempts to explain crosslinguistic variation in attachment with properties of the languages, in particular the availability of pseudo-relatives, we analyzed children's performance in attaching preferences with relative clauses and prepositional infinitival constructions and found that their preferences in parsing are guided by independently needed and crosslinguistically robust principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-143
Number of pages25
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Language Acquisition
  • Sentence comprehension
  • Attachment
  • Portuguese
  • Prepositional Infinitival Constructions
  • Relative Clauses

Cite this