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Quantifier pronominal adverbs in children’s speech

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2019. Vol. 8. No. 5. Pp. 324-333.
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Krasnoshchekova S. V.
Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
9 Tuchkov Lane, 199053 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Kakhovskaya Yu. V.
Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
29 Politehnicheskaya Street, 195251 Saint Petersburg, Russia


The article is devoted to the process of acquisition of pronominal adverbs that belong to quantifier pronominal classes: interrogative, negative, indefinite, and universal adverbs. The goal of the study was to make a full and noncontradictiry description of the acquisition of these pronouns and to find out specific features of each pronominal class in children’s speech. The analysis of 6 corpora of speech of Russian-speaking children aged from 1.5 to 6 years old enabled the authors to draw several conclusions. First, certain effects of interaction were found, but in general, adverbs of the same derivative group are acquired independently of each other. The authors have assumed that non-derivative interrogative pronouns serve as a base for the acquisition of the secondary derived lexemes. This hypothesis proved to be partially true only for locative adverbs, but on the whole it is not confirmed. Second, the authors have discovered that each class is primarily represented in children’s speech by one or several leading, prototypic adverbs, that were acquired earlier and are used more frequently than others. They are interrogative and indefinite gde ’where’, kuda ’where to’, gde-to ’somewhere’, kuda-to ’to somewhere’, negative nikak ’in no manner’, and universal vsegda ’always’. Therefore, the primary system of the quantifier adverbs is built on the base of three semantic relations: indefiniteness-locativity, universality-temporality, and negativeness-manner of action. Third, like other pronominal expressions, quantifier pronouns do not cause difficulties for children. Non-adult-like utterances with these adverbs are almost absent in the collected data.


  • • first language acquisition
  • • Russian language
  • • ontolinguistics
  • • pronoun
  • • adverb
  • • indefinite pronouns
  • • interrogative pronouns
  • • universal pronouns
  • • negative pronouns


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