International Doctorate for
Experimental Approaches to Language And Brain

  • Assunta Süss
    assuess [at]

    Syntactic agreement between subject and verb, like the -s in “she works”, is found in a large number of languages and needs to be acquired in order to produce grammatically correct sentences. Certain syntactic information – so called features of the subject, like person and number – are expressed on the finite verb, typically through an affix. The verb inflection paradigm varies from relatively easy ones (like in English) to more complex ones (German for example), yet the underlying process is the same.
    Although it takes children years to fully interpret this information in their language input, they seem to be sensitive to it at a very early age. This sensitivity has been shown in French and Dutch at ages younger than two years. Using eye tracking, we want to detect Subject-Verb Agreement in young German speaking children and relate it to their general language development.

    Prof. dr. Barbara Höhle (University of Potsdam)
    Prof. dr. Petra Hendriks (University of Groningen)

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