The Acquisition of Sentence Modalities 1 Simple Declaratives

As children progress beyond the two-word stage, they begin combining words into three- and then four-word sentences. In doing so, they link together two or more basic semantic relations that were prevalent early on. For example, agent + action and action + object may be linked to form agent + action + object. These simple declarative sentences include all the basic elements of adult sentences. Gradually these may become enriched with the addition of prepositional phrases, more complex noun phrases that include a variety of modifiers, and more complex verb phrases including auxiliary and modal verbs. All these additions add length to the declarative sentences of young children.

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