ERIC Number: EJ777528
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Reference Count: N/A
Early Noun Plurals in German: Regularity, Productivity or Default?
Laaha, Sabine; Ravid, Dorit; Korecky-Kroll, Katharina; Laaha, Gregor; Dressler, Wolfgang U.
Journal of Child Language, v33 n2 p271-302 May 2006
The acquisition of German plurals has been the focus of controversy in the last decade. In this paper we claim that degree of productivity (i.e. the capacity of nouns to form potential plurals) plays a key role in determining pace of acquisition. A plural elicitation task was administered to 84 Viennese German-speaking children aged 2;6 to 6;0. Analyses of correct responses showed that the highest scores were obtained with -e plurals, followed by the plural markers -e +U, -er +U, -s and -(e)n. The lowest score was observed for pure Umlaut (U) plurals. Analyses suggested an impact of productivity on the number of correct scores: fully productive and productive plural patterns obtained higher correct scores than weakly productive and non-productive ones. The results of the study support our productivity scale and are compatible both with single-route models and with a race-model variant of the dual-route view. (Contains 1 footnote.) [This research was supported by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and by the Austrian Fonds zur Forderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung FWF.]
Descriptors: Nouns, German, Language Acquisition, Child Language, Foreign Countries, Young Children, Morphology (Languages), Language Research, Correlation, Models, Early Childhood Education
Cambridge University Press. The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Tel: +44-1223-326070; Fax: 845-353-4141; Fax: +44-1223-325150; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.cambridge.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria