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Gagliardi, Mease & Lidz in Language Acquisition

Now out, "Discontinuous Development in the acquisition of filler-gap dependencies" by 2012 alumna Annie Gagliardi, with Jeff and Tara. The article reports three experiments on the comprehension of wh-questions and relative clauses, by 15- and 20-month olds. It finds that, under certain circumstances, both groups can understand uses of both constructions. But it argues that they reach this understanding in different ways. Only the 20-month-olds deploy a representation of filler-gap dependencies. The 15-month-olds instead make inferential use of what they know about the argument-structure of the verb.