The acquisition of the passive structure in European Portuguese

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This study aims at the description of the acquisition of passives in European Portuguese. Many studies show that this construction is acquired late in different languages. In this paper we contribute to the study of the acquisition of passives with the results of two experiments run with 3-5 year-old European Portuguese speaking children, using a Picture Selection Test and a Truth-Value Judgment Test. The results show that in Portuguese, only at the age of four, children can interpret syntactic passive sentences with actional verbs. The acquisition of non-actional verbs happens later.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-168
JournalJournal of Child Language Acquisition and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • acquisition
  • passive construction
  • actional verbs
  • non-actional verbs
  • by-phrase


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