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ERIC Number: EJ852851
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Abstract Categories or Limited-Scope Formulae? The Case of Children's Determiners
Valian, Virginia; Solt, Stephanie; Stewart, John
Journal of Child Language, v36 n4 p743-778 Sep 2009
Six tests of the spontaneous speech of twenty-one English-speaking children (1 ; 10 to 2 ; 8; MLUs 1[middle dot]53 to 4[middle dot]38) demonstrate the presence of the syntactic category determiner from the start of combinatorial speech, supporting nativist accounts. Children use multiple determiners before a noun to the same extent as their mothers (1) when only "a" and "the" or (2) all determiners are analyzed, or (3) when children and mothers are matched on determiner and noun types and determiner+noun tokens. (4) Overlap increases as opportunity for overlap increases: children use multiple determiners with more than 50% of nouns used at least twice with a determiner and with 80% of nouns used at least six times with a determiner. (5) Formulae play a limited role in low-MLU children's determiner usage, increasing with MLU. (6) Less than 1% of determiner uses are errors. Prior results showing no overlap are likely a sampling artifact.
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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