Mary Goodrich gave an Ling Lunch talk on Oct. 16, 2012. Her talk was about Root Infinitive in Spanish acquisition. It was a practice talk for her HLS presentation.
“The phenomenon of root infinitives in child language has commanded a great deal of attention in a vast body of literature spanning several decades. The majority of current syntactic approaches to this phenomenon assume that a root-infinitive (RI) stage is characteristic of children acquiring non-null-subject languages (Rhee & Wexler 1995, Sano & Hyams 1994, Wexler 1994, Wexler 1996, among others).
There have been claims that children acquiring genuine pro-drop languages, do, in fact, produce (the equivalent of) root infinitives (Buesa-García 2007, Davidiak & Grinstead 2004, Pratt & Grinstead 2007, 2008, Grinstead et al. 2009, Salustri & Hyams 2003, among others). However, when compared with the large body of research covering the RI phenomenon in Germanic languages, relatively little attention has been paid to the child root infinitive phenomenon in Romance languages such as Spanish.
This presentation deals with the possible occurrence of Root Infinitives in child Spanish and its implications for the two popular analyses of the RI phenomenon: Rizzi’s (1994) truncation analysis and the Unique Checking Constraint of Wexler (1998).”