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ERIC Number: EJ799961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Meaning Matters in Children's Plural Productions
Zapf, Jennifer A.; Smith, Linda B.
Cognition, v108 n2 p466-476 Aug 2008
The English plural is about the "number" of "individuals" in a "set" of "like kinds." Two-year-old children use the plural but do not do so in all obligatory contexts. The present report asks whether the limitations on their production of the plural are related to aspects of meaning. In two Experiments plural productions were elicited from 2-year-old children for sets of size two and four and for instances of basic-level categories that were either similar or identical. Children were much more likely to produce the plural of these well-known nouns when there were four rather than two and when the instances were identical rather than merely similar. The results provide new evidence on children's acquisition of the English plural, showing that children's early productions are not just limited by knowledge of the noun and its plural form but also is limited by properties of the labeled sets in ways that are relevant to the underlying meaning of the plural. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A