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ERIC Number: EJ931999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Children's Judgments of Regular and Irregular Novel Past-Tense Forms: New Data on the English Past-Tense Debate
Ambridge, Ben
Developmental Psychology, v46 n6 p1497-1504 Nov 2010
Is language governed by formal rules or by analogy to stored exemplars? The acquisition of the English past tense has long played a central role in this debate. In the present study, children rated the acceptability of a regular and an irregular past-tense form of each of 40 novel verbs (e.g., "fleeped", "flept") using a 5-point scale. The novel verbs were chosen to vary continuously along the orthogonal dimensions of (a) similarity to existing regular forms and (b) similarity to existing irregular forms. A developmental progression was observed whereby the acceptability of novel regulars was shown to increase as a function of similarity to existing regulars, with the magnitude of this effect increasing with age. The acceptability of novel irregulars was shown to increase as a function of similarity to existing irregulars, with no developmental changes observed. These findings are discussed in the light of 3 current models of past-tense acquisition: the single-route model (e.g., Bybee & Moder, 1983), the dual-route model (e.g., Prasada & Pinker, 1993), and the multiple-rules model (e.g., Albright & Hayes, 2003). (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom