ERIC Number: EJ1177295
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Abstractor: As Provided
The Roles of Word-Form Frequency and Phonological Neighbourhood Density in the Acquisition of Lithuanian Noun Morphology
Ambridge, Ben; Pine, Julian M.
Journal of Child Language, v45 p641-672 2017 May 2018
Four- and five-year-old children took part in an elicited familiar and novel Lithuanian noun production task to test predictions of input-based accounts of the acquisition of inflectional morphology. Two major findings emerged. First, as predicted by input-based accounts, correct production rates were correlated with the input frequency of the target form, and with the phonological neighbourhood density of the noun. Second, the error patterns were not compatible with the systematic substitution of target forms by either (a) the most frequent form of that noun or (b) a single morphosyntactic default form, as might be predicted by naive versions of a constructivist and generativist account, respectively. Rather, most errors reflected near-miss substitutions of singular for plural, masculine for feminine, or nominative/accusative for a less frequent case. Together, these findings provide support for an input-based approach to morphological acquisition, but are not adequately explained by any single account in its current form.
Descriptors: Word Frequency, Phonological Awareness, Nouns, Morphology (Languages), Indo European Languages, Language Acquisition, Word Order, Predictor Variables, Young Children, Early Childhood Education, Grammar, Visual Stimuli, Coding, Foreign Countries, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Lithuania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A