Interaction of tone, syntax and semantics in the acquistion of chichewa negation.pdf


  • Moira Chimombo
  • Al Mtenje


acquisition, Chichewa, tone, morphosyntax, phonology


The data for three children learning Chichewa as their first language between the ages of 1.0 and 2.6 were analyzed to identify and describe the patterns of development of tone, morpho-syntax and semantics in the acquisition of negation. Not one of the subcategories of negation was completely mastered by 2.6; in four subcategories the tone patterns were acquired, with incomplete morphology; in no case was the morpho-syntax acquired without the tone. The results for first langauge acquisition are compared with previous results for bilingual and second language acquisition of Chichewa. The implications of these data for the identification of universals in language acquisition are discussed, as are the implications for phonological theory.