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ERIC Number: EJ858068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
Comprehension of Three Word Orders in Kuwaiti Arabic Child Language
Aljenaie, Khawla; Farghal, Mohammad
Language Sciences, v31 n4 p494-506 Jul 2009
The present project is a case study of 68 Kuwaiti children (aged between 4 and 8) who acted out their interpretation of verbal stimuli involving three word orders in Kuwaiti Arabic Subject Verb Object (SVO), Verb Subject Object (VSO) and Topic-Comment (T-C) by using a set of props. The purpose is to investigate the way Kuwaiti children comprehend various word orders, and empirically check the acquisitional order of SVO, VSO, and T-C sentences. The general assumption is that Kuwaiti children will manifest higher comprehension of the unmarked word order SVO than the marked VSO, and even more so than the supposedly more marked T-C sentences, where the "comment" must include a resumptive pronoun that is co-referential with the "topic," which is the "patient" in the T-C sentence. In both marked word orders, children must ignore the word order cue and recover thematic roles from agreement and, possibly, from other semantic, pragmatic and prosodic cues. The results show that younger children show a preference for the SVO order while older ones exhibit a strong preference for both SVO and VSO orders. The increasing discrepancy in performance on the three word orders by all subjects reflects improvement on T-C, which implies the acquisition of SVO and VSO before T-C. Further, older subjects rely on gender agreement to interpret reversible sentences, which suggests that it is a cue in the assignment of the actor role. (Contains 1 figure and 6 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