Elicited production of passive sentences in 6–10 year-old Italian-speaking children
Abstract: In this contribution we investigate the elicited production of passive sentences in Italian children aged 6 to 10. Children were asked to look at a set of drawings and guess what was happening to the patient in each picture (Puppet: “Ora guarda qui, indovina! Cosa succede alla bambina?”, “Now look at this one and guess! What is happening to the girl?”. Target sentence: “La bambina viene/è sgridata”, “The girl is scolded.”). Differently from previous studies on the topic (Volpato, Verin, Cardinaletti, 2012), the agent was partly covered, to prevent the child from using an active sentence containing the agent and an object clitic pronoun referring to the patient. We made use of a specific property of passives, that of allowing the agent to be omitted, when unknown.