The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 83–99 | Cite as

Multiple Exemplar Instruction and the Emergence of Generative Production of Suffixes as Autoclitic Frames

  • JeanneMarie Speckman
  • R. Douglas Greer
  • Celestina Rivera-Valdes


We report 2 experiments that tested the effects of multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) across training sets on the emergence of productive autoclitic frames (suffixes) for 6 preschoolers with and without language-based disabilities. We implemented multiple exemplar tact instruction with subsets of stimuli whose “names” contained the suffix “-er” denoting the comparative form of adjectives. Subsets of stimuli included regular, irregular, and contrived tacts containing the target relational autoclitic frame in order to determine if our MEI procedure would induce the abstraction of the frame across all stimulus sets. In the second experiment, additional tasks were introduced to the participants to control for a possible sequence effect. A nonconcurrent multiple probe design was used to evaluate the functional relation between MEI and emergence of untaught tact responses containing the comparative adjective “-er.” The results of both experiments showed relations between MEI and novel, untaught tact responses containing the target autoclitic frame; the second experiment showing a functional relation. The results are discussed in terms of environmental sources for productive verbal behavior.

Key words

verbal behavior autoclitics multiple exemplar instruction grammar suffixes 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • JeanneMarie Speckman
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Douglas Greer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Celestina Rivera-Valdes
    • 1
  1. 1.Fred S. Keller SchoolNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University Teachers CollegeUSA
  3. 3.Graduate School of Arts and SciencesUSA

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