ERIC Number: ED171126
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Locative Prepositions by Hebrew Speaking Children 2:0 - 3:0 Years Old. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 3.
The use of locative prepositions in the spontaneous speech of 30 Hebrew speaking children two to three years old was studied. The rank order of locative prepositions is determined according to the correct use in obligatory contexts, and tentative conclusions are drawn concerning the order of acquisition of these terms in Hebrew. An attempt is made to examine the role of cognitive complexity and formal linguistic complexity in determining that order. Special reference is made to the form of this expression in Hebrew, and the following hypotheses are proposed: (1) prefixed locatives are more salient for children than whole word prepositional locatives, and (2) morphological complexity is a determinant factor in the acquisition of new forms. Out of a total of 4,294 spontaneous utterances, only 439 utterances contained obligatory contexts for locative prepositions. The children supplied the expected prepositions in all but 49 of these. The Hebrew data show that not only correct productions increase with mean length of utterance (MLU), but so does the total number of obligatory contexts for locative prepositions. The data support the assumption that children require semantic coherence and that they try to look for a one-to-one mapping between ideas and linguistic units. No consistent preference for one preposition over another was found. Enclitic prefixed prepositions seems to be acquired before full word prepositions that share the same locative notions, and morphological complexity seemed to act as a determinant in the acquisition of locative prepositions in Hebrew. (SW)
Descriptors: Child Language, Function Words, Grammar, Hebrew, Language Acquisition, Language Processing, Language Research, Linguistic Competence, Linguistic Theory, Morphology (Languages), Perceptual Development, Preschool Children, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Speech Communication, Verbal Communication
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. Dept. of Linguistics.