When acquisition and aphasia converge: the case of copula omission

Valentina Brunetto, Charlotte Kershaw, Maria Garraffa

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This paper reports evidence for a convergence between child language acquisition and Broca’s aphasia in the domain of copula omission. Our data shows that, in the spontaneous speech of people with Broca’s aphasia (PWBA), copula omission is confined to aspectual predicates, replicating a finding previously reported by Becker (2002) for child English. This grammatical property is a much stronger predictor of copula omission than alternative, extra-grammatical factors, such as predicate length or utterance length. We argue that grammatical accounts which predict the fragility of Tense by virtue of its cartographic location, in terms of ‘tree-pruning’/ ‘growing trees’, fare better than others in explaining similarities in patterns of omission in these two populations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023

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