NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1078794
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Asymmetries in the Acquisition of Subject-Verb Agreement in Dutch: Evidence from Comprehension and Production
Verhagen, Josje; Blom, Elma
First Language, v34 n4 p315-335 Aug 2014
Across languages, children do not comprehend 3SG/3PL subject-verb agreement before age five, despite early mastery in spontaneous speech. This study investigates subject-verb agreement in a language hitherto not studied in this respect, namely Dutch. The authors examine if (1) Dutch two- and three-year-olds comprehend subject-verb agreement and (2) a comprehension-production asymmetry still exists if task materials are kept constant across domains. Dutch-speaking two- and three-year-olds completed a comprehension (picture selection) and production (sentence completion) task testing 3SG and 3PL. In comprehension, both groups performed above chance on 3PL but not on 3SG. In production, accuracy on 3PL and 3SG was slightly higher than in comprehension. Comprehension and production were moderately correlated. These results show that comprehension is earlier in Dutch than in previously investigated languages, but only for 3PL, suggesting that phonological salience and cue reliability are important. They also show an asymmetry between comprehension and production, albeit much smaller than assumed in previous studies.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; 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
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands