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Developmental profile: Maria

The analysis of Maria’s file 1 indicates that she has a command of the target sentence structure, including the functional levels above the VP, the IP and the CP (cf. also Table 3.25). Processes associated with the IP and CP are productive, notably verb inflection, subordination, question formation and referential shift. There is no evidence of language contact phenomena in this or subsequent files, with the exception of one SVO construction involving the auxiliary pam and the modal verb like-то. The productive use of linguistic devices necessary for referential establishment and maintenance provides evidence for Maria’s skilful use of the sign space and the mechanisms that involve the syntax-discourse interface. Further progress in the mastery of narrative skills is documented in Maria’s file 3 narrative, in which she provides a more detailed and sophisticated account of the frog story events.

Table 3.25: Maria’s DGS profile.

Syntax-discourse interface

[file 3]

Simultaneous constructions

[file 1]

Spatial relations

[file 1]

Referential shift

[file 1]

Referential establishment / maintenance

[file 1]

Reference forms / functions


Referential shift (POV)

[file 1]

1,2 < > manner: with affection nm:CL:BODY: looking down [- dom] CL:FORM

a. boy1 with dog2 lookx: [+ dom] cl:form ‘A boy and a dog are looking down with affection. There is a container.’

b. 4<->


‘The frog looks up.’


[file 3]

1< > WHERE [DETposs]1 FROG : CALL+++

‘Where is my frog, (he) calls.’

[file 1]

1< > DISAPPEAR HOW+++ ‘How did (he) disappear?’



[file 1]

SEE : [deTexist]d Treed ‘(He) sees there is a tree there.’


pam -agreement

[file 3]

manner:intensely LIKE PAM3 FROG3 ‘(He) likes the frog a lot.’

Complex classifier constructions

[file 1]

[- dom] [cl:FORM (bowl)] GLASSABOWLC [+ dom] SIT|N-C ‘(He) sits in the jar.’



[file 1]

[- dom] [cl:form (hole)]

a. cl:form (trunk) [+ dom] [inside]in-|

‘In the log, inside the hole there.’

b. maybe [detexist]3

‘Maybe (he = the frog) is there.’

Verb agreement

[file 1]

(1)< >

[- dom] [CL:PALM ]|

[+ dom] [puT-uPcL:A]FR0M_K [PUT-ONCL:A]ON-|

‘(He) picks (it = the small frog) up and puts (it) on his hand.’

IP- headedness

[file 1]


‘(He = the boy) goes up a big stone.’



[file 1]

- see IP headedness -

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