OV sequences in early child Catalan and English

Susagna Tubau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


In this paper I investigate the nature of preverbal objects in child English and Catalan. OV sequences occur in the children’s productions between approximately 19 months and 2 years of age even though both adult English and Catalan display VO word order. I claim that OV sequences emerge in child English and Catalan after Telicity Phrase and Aspect Phrase have been acquired but are still underspecified, thus not forcing movement of objects and verbs to Tel0 and Asp0 respectively. While V-to-Asp0 without object-to-Tel0 yields VO word order, the opposite yields OV, which disappears as soon as both movements can no longer take place non-simultaneously. In child Catalan, two kinds of OV sequences are distinguished: ‘true’ OV sequences, which occur with non-finite and non-adult inflected verbs, and Focus fronted OV combinations, which are attested with adult-like inflected verbs and whose syntax is different from ‘true’ OVs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRomance Languages and Linguistic Theory. Selected papers from �Going Romance� Amsterdam 2007
EditorsEnoch O. Aboh, Elisabeth Van Der Linden, Josep Quer, Petra Sleeman
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789027288707
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameRomance Languages and Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)1574-552X


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