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Grammar of Semantic Fields and Categorial Situations is the name of a model developed from the late 1970s until the present in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) under the guidance of Alexandr V. Bondarko (1930-2016) by his students and followers. The name is derived from one of two core notions of this approach - "the functional-semantic field" and "categorial situation" - used to describe the language system and its realization in utterances. The main distinctive feature of this grammatical framework is the description of linguistic facts in the direction "from semantics to formal means of its expression," thus imitating the active role of the speaker in a dialogue. The opposite direction of linguistic description ("from formal means to semantics") reflects the passive role of the listener, who on receiving a speech signal is expected to process it correctly. Therefore, the grammar of functional-semantic fields and categorial situations is also characterized as an active grammar, or a grammar of the speaker.

in Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics Online

First-language (L1) acquisition is a general term describing the main features and the course of language development in children from birth the age of five-seven or even further. The upper limit of this process is under debate because some grammatical features in many languages are only mastered at school. Young children manage to acquire their native language in an adultlike way in a short time. They base themselves on limited samples of their target language. Scarce input, the lack of explicit correction from caregivers, and the achievement of such results that can never be obtained by the adult learners of the second language are subsumed under the notion of the '"logical problem of language acquisition.'" The explanation of this phenomenon has called forth several influential theories of L1 acquisition, either stressing the importance of the input and mother-child interaction (constructivist or functionalist approaches) or postulating the partly innate nature of grammatical knowledge (generativist approaches). Although the course of language development is universal in many respects, the speed of the acquisition of some grammatical issues may be language-specific. Developmental psycholinguists also point to the group and individual variation among young language learners.

in Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics Online

Requests are among the three basic human communicative motives which emerge earliest in ontogeny. The imperative constitutes the prototypical linguistic verb form category for expressing direct requests. In both Modern Greek and Russian, this category is differentiated from other verb forms and most verbs distinguish between perfective and imperfective imperative forms. In the present paper, the perfective and imperfective imperative verb forms occurring in the early speech of a Greek and a Russian child and their mothers’ child-directed speech are studied with regard to their frequencies and functions. It will be shown that the perfective/imperfective contrast of imperative forms does not function alike in the two languages. The differences of imperative usage between the two mother-child dyads and the similarities within each of them may be taken as evidence that the children construct the grammatical distinctions of their language on the basis of usage.

Open Access
In: Journal of Greek Linguistics