The papers in this volume focus on the impact of information structure on language acquisition, thereby taking different linguistic approaches into account. They start from an empirical point of view, and examine data from natural first and second language acquisition, which cover a wide range of varieties, from early learner language to native speaker production and from gesture to Creole prototypes. The central theme is the interplay between principles of information structure and linguistic structure and its impact on the functioning and development of the learner's system. The papers examine language-internal explanatory factors and in particular the communicative and structural forces that push and shape the acquisition process, and its outcome. On the theoretical level, the approach adopted appeals both to formal and communicative constraints on a learner's language in use. Two empirical domains provide a 'testing ground' for the respective weight of grammatical versus functional determinants in the acquisition process: (1) the expression of finiteness and scope relations at the utterance level and (2) the expression of anaphoric relations at the discourse level.
1. Introduction; 2. I. Finiteness and scope relations; 3. Development of verb morphology and finiteness in children and adults acquiring French (by Schlyter, Suzanne); 4. "Tinkering" with chunks: Form-oriented strategies and idiosyncratic utterance patterns without functional implications in the IL of Turkish speaking children learning German (by Haberzettl, Stefanie); 5. Finiteness in Germanic languages: A stage-model for first and second language development (by Dimroth, Christine); 6. On the similarities of L1 and L2 acquisition: How German children anchor utterances in time (by Gretsch, Petra); 7. Negation and relational predicates in French and English as second languages (by Giuliano, Patrizia); 8. The copula in learner Italian: Finiteness and verbal inflection (by Bernini, Giuliano); 9. The interaction between the development of verb morphology and the acquisition of temporal adverbs of contrast: A longitudinal study in French, English and German L2 (by Benazzo, Sandra); 10. Merging scope particles: Word order variation and the acquisition of aussi and ook in a bilingual context (by Hulk, Aafke); 11. Creole prototypes as basic varieties and inflectional morphology (by Becker, Angelika); 12. II. Anaphoric relations; 13. Information structure in narratives and the role of grammaticised knowledge: A study of adult French and German learners of English (by Carroll, Mary); 14. Acquiring the linkage between syntactic, semantic and informational roles in narratives by Spanish learners of German (by Murcia-Serra, Jorge); 15. Gestures, referents, and anaphoric linkage in learner varieties (by Gullberg, Marianne); 16. The development of anaphoric means to refer to space and entities in the acquisition of French by Polish learners (by Watorek, Marzena); 17. Subject index
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