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ERIC Number: ED233577
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Mass-Count Distinction: Children's Uses of Morpho-Syntactic vs. Semantic Approaches.
Gathercole, Virginia C.
Children's acquisition of the mass-count distinction in English was investigated. In order to determine whether children approach the distinction as a morphosyntactic or a semantic distinction, 88 monolingual children aged 3-9 years were asked to judge the acceptability of 32 sentences containing "much" or "many" with 8 types of nominals. The results suggest that a prolonged development of the mass-count distinction in English begins as early as age 3 and may not be completed until after age 9. By age 6 or 7, children may be aware of the correct forms of mass and count nouns when they occur in quantified constructions. There is some indication that by age 8, children may progress to a more semantic understanding of the distinction, in which nominal forms become more flexible in distribution and the mass-count distinction is transferred to the quantifiers modifying those nouns. (RW)
PRCLD, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($12.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In its: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Volume 22, p58-65, Jul 1983. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Child Language Research Forum (14th, Stanford, CA, March 1983).