The Verb Island hypotheses (Tomasello, 1992) was formulated to explain the lexical-centered application of grammatical rules in children's utterances.
The development of children's acquisition of linguistic skills has been under investigation for a long while. However, no theory has received universal approbation. The arguement that young children's verbs are independent, each developing its own mini-syntax unrelated to other verbs (Tomasello, 1992,2000) though well known in the academia, has also been criticized. According to Tomasello in the insular stage of development, children have inventory specific lexical schemas each used only for the specific predicates. This schemas are independent and do not form a grammatical pattern. It is in a later stage of growth, children develop abstract systems of construction of inter-related verbal patterns.
These early absence of grammatical representations are attested by a number of recent studies. The children's early grammatical constructions are ordered around concrete lexical material. These lexical constructions consist of a term showing relation, often a verb and an open slot meant to be filled by various elements. (Tomasello 1992,2000; Pine and Lieven 1993; Dabrowska 2000;Israel, Johnson and Brooks 2000).The short sentences are from a diary study adopted from Tomasello (1992:285ff). The utterances are from his 2-year-old daughter.
The formationa ...Show more