Within a new model of language acquisition, this book discusses verb second (V2) word order in situations where there is variation in the input. While traditional generative accounts consider V2 to be a parameter, this study shows that, in many languages, this word order is dependent on fine distinctions in syntax and information structure. Thus, within a split-CP model of clause structure, a number of micro-cues are formulated, taking into account the specific context for V2 vs. non-V2 (clause type, subcategory of the elements involved, etc.). The micro-cues are produced in children's I-language grammars on exposure to the relevant input. Focusing on a dialect of Norwegian, the book shows that children generally produce target-consistent V2 and non-V2 from early on, indicating that they are sensitive to the micro-cues. This includes contexts where word order is dependent on information structure. The children's occasional non-target-consistent behavior is accounted for by economy principles.
1. Acknowledgements; 2. Preliminaries; 3. Word order variation and the structure of the target language; 4. The of V2 and a of-cues; 5. The input; 6. The acquisition of word order in non-subject-initial declaratives; 7. The acquisition of word order in subject-initial declaratives; 8. The acquisition of word order in wh-questions; 9. The acquisition of word order in yes/no-questions; 10. The acquisition of word order in non-V2 contexts; 11. Micro-cues, information structure, and economy; 12. References; 13. Appendix; 14. Index