The concept of syntax has changed over time according to various linguistic theories in which it has been conceived. This fact has had an impact on operative conceptions about this phenomenon and, therefore, on the selection of units of analysis and on the procedures used for its assessment. The debate plays a key role when it comes to accounting for both the initial acquisition and late language development (Berman, 2004). Within the ongoing FONDECYT Project No 1100600, the objective of this article is to give an account of the evolution of the concept of syntax and the procedures to study empirically this phenomenon. For this purpose, the main linguistic theories are revisited as well as the way in which these have assessed syntactical development. Traditional theories which assume that syntactic maturity implies larger number of elements per sentence are reviewed. Later on, Hunt's (1965, 1970) proposal, which helps measure terminal minimal units (Unit-T) and is influenced by generativism, is presented. Finally, Beman's "clause packaging", a unit of analysis that functions as an interface between syntax and discourse (Katzenberger, 2003; Berman, 2004; Nir and Berman, 2010) is presented. Findings help to see an evolution map that addresses from an isolated view of this phenomenon to an integrated view of syntax in discourse.
|Translated title of the contribution||Measurement of syntax: Evolution of a concept|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2011|