A cross-sectional study of the acquisition of grammatical morphemes in child speech
- 1.8k Downloads
Speech samples were taken from 21 children aged 16–40 months covering a wide range of mean utterance length. Presence or absence of 14 grammatical morphemes in linguistic and nonlinguistic obligatory contexts was scored. Order of acquisition of the morphemes was determined using two different criteria. The rank-orderings obtained correlated very highly with a previously determined order of acquisition for three children studied longitudinally. Age did not add to the predictiveness of mean length of utterance alone for grammatical development in terms of which morphemes were correctly used. The approximately invariant order of acquisition for the fourteen morphemes is discussed in terms of three possible determinants of this order. Frequency of use in parental speech showed no correlation with order of acquisition, but grammatical and semantic complexity both correlated highly with acquisition order.
KeywordsCognitive Psychology Speech Sample Grammatical Development Invariant Order Semantic Complexity
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Brown, R. W. (in press).A First Language: The Early Stages. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
- Cazden, C. B. (1968). The acquisition of noun and verb inflections.Child Dev. 39: 433–448.Google Scholar
- Fillmore, C. J. (1968). The case for case. In Bach, E., and Harms, R. R. (eds.),Universals in Linguistic Theory. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.Google Scholar
- Jacobs, R. A., and Rosenbaum, P. S. (1968).English Transformational Grammar. Blaisdell, Waltham, Mass.Google Scholar
- Joos, M. (1964).The English Verb; Form and Meanings. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison.Google Scholar
- Labov, W. (1969). Contraction, deletion and inherent variability of the English copula.Language 45: 715–762.Google Scholar
- Long, R. B. (1961).The Sentence and Its Parts. Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Menyuk, P. (1969).Sentences Children Use. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
- Twaddell, W. F. (1963).The English Verb Auxiliaries. Brown Univ. Press, Providence, R.I.Google Scholar