NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1074541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
The Interaction of Language-Specific and Universal Factors during the Acquisition of Morphophonemic Alternations with Exceptions
Baer-Henney, Dinah; Kügler, Frank; van de Vijver, Ruben
Cognitive Science, v39 n7 p1537-1569 Sep 2015
Using the artificial language paradigm, we studied the acquisition of morphophonemic alternations with exceptions by 160 German adult learners. We tested the acquisition of two types of alternations in two regularity conditions while additionally varying length of training. In the first alternation, a vowel harmony, backness of the stem vowel determines backness of the suffix. This process is grounded in substance (phonetic motivation), and this universal phonetic factor bolsters learning a generalization. In the second alternation, tenseness of the stem vowel determines backness of the suffix vowel. This process is not based in substance, but it reflects a phonotactic property of German and our participants benefit from this language-specific factor. We found that learners use both cues, while substantive bias surfaces mainly in the most unstable situation. We show that language-specific and universal factors interact in learning.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A