ERIC Number: ED166934
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Locative Expressions in English, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, and Turkish. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 13.
Johnson, Judith R.; Slobin, Dan I.
A study was conducted in 1972-73 in Berkeley, Rome, Dubrovnik, and Istanbul, in order to examine the differences and similarities in the sequence of the development of locative expressions in English, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, and Turkish. The subjects consisted of 48 two-, three-, and four-year-olds in each field site. Groups of three girls and three boys were tested at each of eight age levels, and each child was re-tested four months later. The experimenter, in each case a female native speaker, placed objects on a table and elicited locative expressions from each child. Seven expressions were investigated, corresponding to the English "in,""on,""under,""beside,""between,""in back," and "in front." The total number of different locative notions expressed by each child was counted and correlated with language, age, sex, and time factors. The Guttman scaling procedures were used to establish the order in which each notion was learned in each language. Results suggest that the course of acquisition of these locative expressions in these children includes both cross-linguistic similarities and differences which can be explained by a complex interaction of conceptual difficulty, cognitive salience, and linguistic complexity. (AM)
Descriptors: Analysis of Variance, Child Language, Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Contrastive Linguistics, English, Grammar, Italian, Language Acquisition, Language Research, Language Universals, Linguistic Difficulty (Inherent), Longitudinal Studies, Preschool Children, Psycholinguistics, Serbocroatian, Turkish, Verbal Development
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.