Adapting acquisition methodologies to study modality in underdescribed languages

Ailís Cournane, Valentine Hacquard

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter focuses on methods used to test modality in child language acquisition. Acquisition and fieldwork approaches are united by the goal to understand the representational systems of the grammars under inquiry (developing or adult). They differ in what is known and unknown. In language acquisition we typically know a lot about language specific target constructions, but not the development of full competency, while in fieldwork we don't know as much about those targets, but we can trust that adult speakers have full competency. When we design child studies, we create replicable sets of carefully controlled contexts and stimuli. Focusing on a few methodological paradigms that have been successful for deepening our understanding of modal development, we consider the advantages and challenges associated with adapting these methods to study underdescribed languages. We speculate on how fieldworkers might be able to make the best use of these methods, in a way that complements existing methods.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationModality in Underdescribed Languages
    Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Insights
    PublisherDe Gruyter
    Number of pages43
    ISBN (Electronic)9783110721478
    ISBN (Print)9783110721287
    StatePublished - Nov 7 2022

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities
    • General Social Sciences


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