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ERIC Number: EJ869748
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Usage-Based Account of the Acquisition of Liaison: Evidence from Sensitivity to the Singular/Plural Orientation of Nouns
Dugua, Celine; Spinelli, Elsa; Chevrot, Jean-Pierre; Fayol, Michel
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v102 n3 p342-350 Mar 2009
This study investigates whether children's production and recognition of obligatory liaison sequences in French depend on the singular/plural orientation of nouns. Certain nouns occur more frequently in the plural (e.g., "arbre" "tree"), whereas others are found more often in the singular (e.g., "arc-en-ciel" "rainbow"). In the input, children more frequently encounter these plural-oriented nouns after determiners that indicate plurality (e.g., "les", "des" "the", "deux" "two") and that are often associated with a /"z"/ liaison (e.g., "deux arbres" [dozarbr] "two trees"). In Experiment 1, 122 children (3 years 2 months to 6 years 3 months of age) were asked to produce nominal phrases with either /"z"/ liaisons (i.e., in plural contexts such as "deux ours" [dozurs] "two bears") or /n/ liaisons (i.e., in singular contexts such as "un ours" [oenurs] "one bear"). We found correlations between the plural orientation of the nouns and (a) the probability that they will be preceded by an incorrect /"z"/ liaison in the singular context and (b) the probability that they will be preceded by a correct /"z"/ liaison in the plural context. This result was, however, restricted to the younger children. In Experiment 2, 20 children (5 years 5 months to 6 years 3 months of age) were asked to monitor target words in auditorily presented sentences. The results showed shorter reaction times for singular-oriented nouns when preceded by a singular determiner than when preceded by a plural determiner. Conversely, plural-oriented nouns were responded to faster when preceded by a plural determiner than when preceded by a singular determiner. Results are discussed within the framework of a two-stage model of liaison acquisition recently proposed by Chevrot, Chabanal, and Dugua ("Journal of French Language Studies", 17 [2007] 103-128) as well as by Chevrot, Dugua, and Fayol ("Journal of Child Language" [in press]). (Contains 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