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ERIC Number: EJ822624
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Acquisition of Morphological Variation: The Case of the English Definite Article
Raymond, William D.; Healy, Alice F.; McDonnel, Samantha; Healy, Charlotte A.
Language and Cognitive Processes, v24 n1 p89-119 Jan 2009
Morphological systems have been pivotal in exploring cognitive mechanisms of language use and acquisition. Adult English definite article form preference seems to depend non-deterministically on multiple factors. A corpus study of adult spontaneous speech revealed similar patterns of variability. In an experiment, article variant preferences of three age groups were compared. Children were sensitive to the same phonological factors as adults, but showed effects of more limited experience with articulation and orthography. Preferences across age groups suggest developmental changes, but no evidence that children initially use a default form. Corpus studies of children's and adults' speech also revealed no evidence for a default. The results point to overgeneralisation of both article variants, resulting from extended competition between variant forms. (Contains 6 tables, 2 figures, and 3 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; Grade 5; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado