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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2020

The use of pronouns as a developmental factor in early Russian language acquisition

From the book Referential and Relational Discourse Coherence in Adults and Children

  • Maria Voeikova and Sofia Krasnoshchekova


This chapter considers the earliest stages in children’s acquisition of the Russian pronominal system. General tendencies in the acquisition of pronouns based on previous studies are compared to four detailed longitudinal corpora of children’s spontaneous speech production to sketch common and individual features in their early use of pronouns and deictic adverbs. In all children, pronouns only occurred at a certain level of syntactic and lexical development based on the calculation of their mean length of utterance (henceforth - MLU) and vocabulary diversity (henceforth - VOCD). Children also exhibit different strategies in the acquisition of pronouns: two male children demonstrated a balanced pronoun usage, whereas one male and one female showed a clear preference for the early demonstratives followed by personal pronouns only several months later. Possible explanations and further research questions are proposed.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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