Merete Anderssen

Merete Anderssen
UiT The Arctic University of Norway · Department of Language and Linguistics

PhD

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31
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Publications

Publications (31)
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we investigated crosslinguistic influence (CLI) at developmental stages of third language (L3) acquisition of English by Russian–Norwegian children (N = 31). We tested seven linguistic properties within three linguistic modules (morphology, syntax and syntax-semantics). We compared the L3 learners to Norwegian (N = 90) and Russian (N...
Article
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This study investigates how givenness and pronominality affect the dative alternation in Norwegian. Previous studies have found givenness to influence the Double Object Dative (DOD) but not the Prepositional Dative (PD). Thirty-one Norwegian native speakers completed a speeded acceptability judgment task, in which given objects were expressed by de...
Article
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This paper investigates spontaneous production from 50 speakers of Norwegian heritage language in the Corpus of American Nordic Speech and studies the interplay between four linguistic properties: possessives and double definiteness, verb second word order, grammatical gender, and the amount of language mixing. It is shown that speakers cluster in...
Chapter
This study investigates two word order phenomena in Norwegian heritage language spoken in the US, subject shift (SS) and object shift (OS). SS and OS occur in syntactic environments where (pronominal) subjects and objects may either precede or follow negation. This paper explores to what extent these two phenomena in Heritage Norwegian are affected...
Article
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The present paper discusses a possible correlation between the placement of pronominal objects with non-nominal antecedents in Norwegian, and the use of the pronouns es ‘it’ and das ‘that’ in German. For Norwegian object shift (OS), it has been shown that while pronominal objects with non-nominal antecedents generally do not shift, this is not the...
Article
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In language acquisition studies, there is a recurring debate regarding how to account for non-target-consistent utterances produced by young children. Anderssen and Westergaard (Lingua 120:2569–2588, 2010) study the acquisition of Norwegian possessives, which may be pre- or postnominal, and find that children overuse prenominal possessives, even th...
Article
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This article reports on a syntactic acceptability judgement study of 59 adult L2/Ln learners of Norwegian and a group of native controls, studying subject and object shift. These constructions involve movement of (mainly) pronominal subjects or objects across negation/adverbs. Both subject shift and object shift display considerable micro-variation...
Article
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This paper investigates the acquisition of residual verb second (V2) in three corpora consisting of data from Norwegian-English bilinguals (Emma, Emily and Sunniva) in order to determine to what extent these structures are affected by cross-linguistic influence (CLI) from Norwegian V2. The three girls exhibit three different patterns with regard to...
Article
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This study investigates possessives and modified definite DPs in a corpus of heritage Norwegian spoken in the US. Both constructions involve variation in Norwegian – two word orders for possessives (pre- and postnominal) and two exponents of definiteness (a prenominal determiner and a suffix) – while English only has one of these options. The findi...
Article
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The Given-before-New principle has been identified as one of the strongest pragmatic principles governing how information is organised in adult grammar (Clark & Clark 1977, Gundel 1988). The question of whether child grammars organise information in the same way is as yet unresolved. We address this question by considering the Dative Alternation in...
Article
This paper presents new experimental data on the acquisition of structures involving ditransitive verbs in two East Slavic languages: Russian and Ukrainian. The results of an elicited production task with adults and 3–6-year-old children show that the ordering of the two object arguments (DPDAT and DPACC) is conditioned by the givenness of one of t...
Article
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Recent work on Object Shift (OS) suggests that this is not as uniform an operation as traditionally assumed. In this paper, we examine OS in the spontaneous speech of adults in large Danish, Norwegian and Swedish child language corpora in order to explore variation with respect to OS across these three languages. We evaluate our results against thr...
Article
During the last decade it has been argued that the syntax‐pragmatics interface is particularly vulnerable in bilingual contexts. Several studies have identified this interface as the typical locus for cross‐linguistic influence. Another factor used to explain deviant development in bilinguals is structural overlap between the two languages involved...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we discuss the phenomenon of Object Shift in Norwegian, and we show that this operation is more complex and discourse related than what has traditionally been assumed. We argue that Object Shift cannot be accounted for in a purely prosodic approach. Rather, we demonstrate that a common denominator for all objects undergoing Object Shi...
Article
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Research has shown that givenness is one of several factors that influence the choice of word order with the Dative Alternation in languages such as English. This paper investigates to what extent Norwegian children between the ages of 4;2 and 6;0 are sensitive to this factor in production. In order to test this, an experiment was carried out in wh...
Article
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This study demonstrates how lexical spanning can be used to explain the various stages in the acquisition of double definiteness in Norwegian. The approach takes syntactic terminals to consist of sub-morphemic elements that are lexicalised by words or morphemes. Work on Scandinavian DPs has demonstrated that they involve two determiner-like project...
Article
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Tospråklighet og ordstilling i norske possessivkonstruksjoner Merete Anderssen og Marit Westergaard I norske eiendomskonstruksjoner kan possessiven enten stå foran eller etter sub-stantivet. Når enspråklige norske barn tilegner seg disse strukturene, foretrekker de først den foranstilte possessiven, selv om denne er mye mindre frekvent enn den ette...
Article
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This article investigates the acquisition of object shift in Norwegian child language. We show that object shift is complex derivationally, distributionally, and referentially, and propose a new analysis in terms of IP-internal topicalization. The results of an elicited production study with 27 monolingual Norwegian-speaking children (ages 4;05–7;0...
Article
This paper discusses how children deal with word order variation in the input, focusing on the effects of frequency and economy in the acquisition process. We consider two contexts where Norwegian displays variable word order, viz. subject placement in main and embedded clauses, and the variable word order found inside the DP in possessive construc...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter discusses the word order of object shift and so-called subject shift constructions in Norwegian child language. Corpus data from young children (up to the age of approximately 3) show that they produce non-target-consistent word order in these contexts, failing to move pronominal subjects and objects across negation or sentence adverbs...
Chapter
This book contains Chapters that investigate children’s acquisition of different types of variation in the primary linguistic data (PLD) that they are exposed to. Natural languages often display word order variation that may at first sight seem like instances of optionality. An example of this is the word order alternation in particle verb construc...
Book
The topic of variation in language has received considerable attention in the field of general linguistics in recent years. This includes research on linguistic micro-variation that is dependent on fine distinctions in syntax and information structure. However, relatively little work has been done on how this variation is acquired. This book focuse...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aim to explain why the prenominal definiteness marker found in modified structures only is acquired much later than the suffixal definite article in Norwegian. The coexistence of the two definiteness markers is the result of the so-called double definiteness phenomenon in Norwegian which occurs in definite structures involving an attribu...
Article
The third volume of the 34th edition of Nordlyd contains the proceedings for a workshop on language acquisition that took place at the Twenty Second Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics (SCL 22). The overall theme of the conference was 'brain, mind and language,' and the workshop invited abstracts in first, second and bilingual acquisition relate...

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Projects (2)
Project
In this project we are testing how givenness of an object influences the reaction time of judging the two dative alternates; and how does the status of the direct object being individuated/non-individuated influence the acceptance and reaction times of the shifted and non-shifted structures. Whereas both dative-alternate structures are grammatical in Norwegian, we expect them to conform to the given before new principle, but with the prepositional dative being more widely accepted than the double object dative. A variable included in this task is whether the given object is expressed as a pronoun or a DP. Object shift, on the other hand, is permitted only if the direct object is a pronoun, and thus we expect to find a strong difference in judgement between the pronoun and the DP object.