Complex Sentence Structures 1 Coordinations

As early as 30 months of age, children begin combining sentences to express compound propositions. The simplest and most frequent method children use to combine sentences is to conjoin two propositions with "and". One question that has been investigated in numerous studies regards the order in which different forms of coordination develop. Both sentential (e.g., ''Mary went to school and Peter went to school"') and phrasal coordinations (e.g., ''Mary and Peter went to school") tend to emerge at the same time in development, suggesting that these forms develop independently and are not, for young children, derived from one another. Children form phrasal coordinations by directly conjoining phrases, not via deletion rules.

Semantic factors influence the course of development of coordination. Children use coordinations first to express additive meaning, where there is no dependency relation between conjoined clauses (e.g., ''maybe you can carry this and I can carry that"). Later, temporal relations (e.g., ''Joey is going home and take her sweater off") and then causal relations (e.g., ''she put a Band-aid on her shoe and it maked it feel better'') are expressed, suggesting that children begin demonstrating greater semantic flexibility even while limiting themselves to the use of a single connective, "and"

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