Binding Principles A and B in Albanian Child Language


  • Gentjana Taraj


Cross-linguistic studies have reported that children’s interpretation of reflexives and pronouns varies at great length. According to the Binding Theory (Chomsky, 1981) reflexives are c-commanded by the noun phrases to which they are locally bound, while pronouns must be free in their local domain. Results from different studies have shown that reflexives are interpreted correctly by children from age 4 onwards. On the contrary, children of the same age show a non-adult interpretation of pronouns by allowing pronouns to co-refer with a local c-commanding antecedent. The delay of correct interpretation of pronouns is explained by the interference of pragmatic and syntactic constrains. Using a two picture task the present study aimed at examining the knowledge of the Binding Theory in Albanian children an aspect of grammar not previously investigated. Data collected from 60 children, aged 3;0-5;11 suggested that both reflexives and pronouns are comprehended around the age 5. Therefore, the results indicate a clear symmetry in the comprehension of reflexives and pronouns. This is explained by the fact that personal pronouns, which act like demonstratives in Albanian, are interpreted through binding which rules out any chance for accidental co-reference.

Keywords: Binding Theory, Principle A, Principle B, typically developing
children, DPBE.




How to Cite

Taraj, G. (2015). Binding Principles A and B in Albanian Child Language. ANGLISTICUM. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies, 4(6), 128–135. Retrieved from



Volume 4, No.6, June 2015