The aim of the language-comparative research project is to develop a model of the acquisition of adversativity using the example of, however, which captures the integration of semantic, syntactic and discourse pragmatic connector properties in the grammar of children. Previous studies, however, are either on the discourse level or on the sentence level and therefore typically illuminate only discourse pragmatic or syntactic acquisition factors in addition to semantic ones. This has led to contradictory assumptions about the time of acquisition of linguistic realizations of adversativity, the course of acquisition and the underlying linguistic knowledge.
In the project applied for, the progress of the acquisition processes on the different levels as well as the interlocking of the individual knowledge components are to be recorded. Forecasts on individual aspects of connector acquisition such as increasing cognitive complexity (Spooren & Sanders 2008) and high syntactic integration (Lebeaux 2000) will be examined. The development of the functions of, however, is determined by contrast with and and instead. In order to identify language-specific aspects of the acquisition process, we investigate three languages (English, German, Bulgarian) with different adversative specifications of but.