The acquisition of demonstratives in a complex noun class system

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We present an exploratory study of 2 to 3-year-old children’s acquisition of the demonstrative system of Eegimaa (ISO 369-3 bqj), an endangered language belonging to the Jóola cluster of the Atlantic family of the Niger-Congo phylum, spoken by about 13,000 speakers in southwestern Senegal. Eegimaa demonstratives express distance from speaker (proximal, medial and distal) and the agreement categories of number and gender, as well as having four morphological types that create an additional dimension of complexity for children to learn. These demonstrative types are each associated with a range of syntactic functions with partial overlaps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-251
JournalWord Structure
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

© Serge Sagna, Virve‑Anneli Vihman, Marilyn Vihman and Dunstan Brown

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