A study of sentence interpretation in Spanish monolingual children

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7 Scopus citations


The present study investigated grammatical strategies developed by Spanish monolingual speakers. Children and young adults were presented with a sentence interpretation task in which they listened to a sentence comprised of two nouns and a verb, and had to decide which of these two referents was responsible for doing the action in the sentence. This task was used to examine syntactic and morphological cues that children use to determine agent roles during sentence processing. In line with previous developmental studies, the results indicate an early reliance on canonical word order and a crossover in syntactic preference from word order to subject-verb agreement cues. This early preference of word order over subject-verb agreement cues is different from results observed in adult Spanish speakers. This difference and the developmental patterns are considered within the framework of crosslinguistic work in previous sentence interpretation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-309
Number of pages25
JournalFirst Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Competition model
  • Grammatical development
  • On-line sentence processing
  • Syntactic development
  • Working memory strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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