ERIC Number: ED191264
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
The Acquisition of Verbs in Japanese Children. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 17.
Tanouye, Ellen K.
A study of data on Japanese children shows that the development of verbs occurs at the same time as the development of nouns and may even precede it. The subjects for the study were two children who were learning Japanese as their first language. Four speech samples, taken between the ages of 22 and 28 months, were audiotaped and supplemented by contextual notes taken by the investigator. The results are discussed in terms of the following categories: (1) distribution of multi-word utterances; (2) utterances in verb relations with emphasis on verb plus an inflection, and constituent relations, such as subject-verb; and (3) verbs in single-word utterances. Function forms were found to predominate across all the speech samples, action forms were the second most frequent initially and, in the later speech samples, substantive forms were found to occur more frequently. The early verb development in Japanese children, according to this study, is in contrast to previous studies on English-speaking children, which show that verbs develop later than nouns. One of the conclusions suggested is that the structure of the language can have a considerable effect on the acquisition process involving nouns and verbs. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.