Form and function in Irish child directed speech
In the present study we analyse a sample of Irish Child Directed Speech in terms of item-based constructions and the communicative intents which they express. The study is based on the speech of an Irish native speaker engaged in daily activities with her son (aged 1;9). The findings of the analyses indicate the high degree of lexical specificity attested in the sample; in total 35 item-based frames account for just under 70% of analysed utterances. In most cases there was a one-to-one relationship between item-based frame and communicative intent. However, of particular interest was the clustering of structurally related frames around specific functions. We propose that this relationship highlights the role of communicative intent in the organisation of structural linguistic knowledge.