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ERIC Number: EJ1129089
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Use of Adjectives in Catalan: A Morphological Characterization in Different Genres and Modes of Production through School-Age Development
Cutillas, Laia; Tolchinsky, Liliana
First Language, v37 n1 p58-82 Feb 2017
Adjectives, like nouns and verbs, are one of the three major classes of lexical words. But, unlike nouns and verbs, they emerge late in acquisition. In Catalan, as in many other languages, their use is closely linked to the literate lexicon learned at school-age. Thus, the use of adjectives can be a good indicator of later language development. The goal of this study is twofold: to characterize the use of adjectives from age 9 to adulthood and to examine the effect of discourse genre (expository and narrative) and mode of production (spoken and written) on frequency of use and word-internal morphological structure. The study takes a corpus-based approach and uses the GRERLI-CAT1 corpus, which contains 316 expository and narrative spoken and written texts produced by 79 Spanish/Catalan bilinguals whose home language is Catalan, at four age and schooling levels: primary school (9- to 10-year-olds), secondary school (12- to 13-year-olds), sixth form (16- to 18-year-olds) and university (adults). Results show that the use of adjectives expands through school-age and especially from sixth form onwards, presenting an increasing pattern. An effect of genre and mode of production on the target features was also detected. Expository texts contain significantly more adjectives per text and clause and lower-frequency adjectives than narrative texts. Written texts contain significantly more adjectives, and lower-frequency and longer adjectives, than spoken texts. Age interacts with mode of production in the use and morphological complexity of adjectives. The four text types analysed (spoken expository, written expository, spoken narrative and written narrative) present a complexity cline, from written expository texts to spoken narratives through spoken expository texts and written narratives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A