RandallButh wrote:Secondly, yes, one may expect certain orders of acquisition though I am not sure what they would be. Why would a child first produce "final nu at the root infinitive stage of acquisition", whatever exactly that would be? Wouldn't θέλω be expected over (ἐ)θελεῖν or (ἐ)θελῆσαι? Of course, θέλω becomes clear in an environment where one hears two speakers going back and forth between ἐγώ --ω and σύ --εις.
Varlokosta et al. (1997) "Functional Projections, Markedness, and 'Root Infinitives' in Early Child Greek", of course dealing with Modern Greek, following Rizzi (1994) "Some Notes on Linguistic Theory and Language Development: The Case of Root infinitives. Language Acquisition 3:371-393. Concludes "that young children prefer that well-formed item of the verbal paradigm that allows them to use (or project) as little of the functional hierarchy as possible. In Koine that is the Infinitive (later with the accusative). The only possible information carried by the infinitive (in some languages) is aspect. So, theoretically, it seems, that aspect would have been the first acquired linguistic skill in childhood acquisition of Koine Greek (for those who spoke it as a home language).
If bilingual Koine children are producing verb+/i/ forms, they can be interpreted as infinitive (where he or she can't get their mouth around the final nu) or third singular indicative active forms, but just consider the world of the child's interaction. At home, with a (primary care-giver) mother or grand-parent, it is a first and second person singular dependent world. To my mind it is logical to not mark the difference in person too much, so the unassigned (to person or number form) is universally useful. When the child wants to talk to someone else about things (or people) then the third person singular forms are logically acquired.
I don't find it surprising that the 3rd singular and the 1st person plural are acquired at about the same time. Because they are sort of opposites. It is like, there is "me and you mommy (or other primary care-giver either permanent or from time to time)" and there is a succession of "other things" that are not "me and mommy". In my experience that is also a very clingy (emotionally demanding and attention seeking) stage of the child's socialisation.
RandallButh wrote:fortunately, the inflections that are most irregular tend to be the most common.
That is why kids eventually learn "went" in English instead of "goed".
That quote is of course in another thread Re: Speaking Greek means digging into inflections
http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... goed#p6049
That is perhaps true at a later stage of the learning process, but there is an earlier step. The studies pioneered by Rodger Brown (1973) on the pseudonymous Adam, Eve, and Sarah, and then by many others following him, suggest that initially the irregular verbal forms at a stage when tense is not yet understood. That is to say that "go" and "went" are both learnt (approx age 1). Later, the research seems to suggest, there is a morphological generalisation and children produce the "go-ed" (approx age 2) form that you mentioned. Then later still, the irregular (suppletive) form is learnt (againor anew approx age 4), but this time it is learn as the past tense of "go".
Taking into account the data from studies on other languages, the age at which Koine number case inflection would be mastered (to some degree at least) would I guess be around 3 +/-6 months. And this is before prepositions are mastered. That is logical if prepositions are taken as case-meaning modifiers, but illogical if they are understood as having separate definable meaning themselves. That is to say prepositions further define the world around the child as they perceive distinctions in the world.
I was expecting to find in studies that the imperative form would be the first learnt. I am now considering that the imperative form is the first understood by children, but not the first produced - reason being that a child begins life as a passive (object) of the actions of others, and doesn't need to express him or herself in a way that changes the world, so despite the regular input of the imperative, it doesn't necessarily follow that it is produced early. So too for negatives; fully formed negatives seem to be produced quite late in language acquisition process. And perhaps negative questions are the last to be formed correctly (c. age 4;6 or 5)
The Modern Greek data doesn't really answer my questions about the future. Of course at a particular point in neurolinguistic development the child will need to acquire (start using) a form that expresses the future. But I'm not settled in my mind as to how a child would conceive of the difference between a aorist subjunctive and a future indicative.
RandallButh wrote:Watching the Living Koine Greek part one pictures provides about 25-50 hours of comprehensible input. While such is qualitatively light years better than talking to them about Greek in English, it is still just a drop in the bucket.
It is not only input that is needed, it is also necessary for a young learner to have someone to bounce the new things off. It seems that in many cases young children learn by seeing what reactions their attempts at language have on others, and what responses they elicit. They need someone to be interactive with them. Studies seem to suggest that it doesn't need to be really much, but it best in a mutually trusting relationship.