Children who are in the process of acquiring their mother tongue have to learn its words, its phonology, and its syntax. For each of these domains, knowledge in other domains would help. For instance, since syntactic structure spells out the relationships between words in a sentence, it is reasonable to assume that children need to have access to words and their meanings in order to learn about syntax. On the other hand, learning word meanings would be greatly facilitated if children had access to some aspects of syntactic structure (Gleitman, 1990). Here I will present experimental and modelling work that investigates whether very young children may acquire partial syntactic knowledge by relying on phrasal prosody (rhythm and intonation) and function words (articles, auxiliaries, etc..), which are both available within the first year of life, and may allow infants to build a preliminary syntactic structure, or syntactic skeleton.