Variable input: What sarah reveals about nonagreeing don't and theories of Root Infinitives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Two recent proposals link the use of nonagreeing don't to the Root Infinitive (RI) Stage. Guasti & Rizzi (2002) argue for a misset parameter involving how agreement is spelled out. Schütze (2010) proposes that Infl is underspecified in child language and that do surfaces to support the contracted clitic/affix n't. Both proposals obtain partial support from the Sarah corpus (Brown 1973), yet neither proposal drew on Sarah's parents' use of nonstandard, nonagreeing don't as a possible explanation for Sarah's production. In this article I argue that much of the nonagreeing don't produced by Sarah is not part of the RI Stage. Once Sarah's data are removed from the analysis, the remaining data support Schütze's proposal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-324
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage Acquisition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 16 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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