Article published in:Linguistics in the Netherlands 2015
Edited by Björn Köhnlein and Jenny Audring
[Linguistics in the Netherlands 32] 2015
► pp. 155–169
Acquisition of adjectival degree markers by Dutch- and Russian-speaking children
The richer the faster?
Prior research shows that morphological richness facilitates acquisition and that paradigm size is more important than uniqueness of form-function pairings (uniformity). The present paper takes a novel approach to uniformity, not restricted to inflectional morphology, and aims to establish whether morphological richness is more important than uniformity when competing forms from different linguistic levels are taken into account. To this end, the paper compares the acquisition of adjectival degree markers in Dutch and Russian. Dutch has scarce adjectival (degree) morphology, but more one-to-one form-function mappings, whereas the Russian system involves rich morphology, but little uniformity. A longitudinal study of spontaneous child speech and a cross-sectional elicitation experiment provide converging evidence that Russian children have more difficulty acquiring degree markers: their acquisition rate is lower and error rate higher. It is concluded that uniformity is more important than morphological richness, when cross-categorical cue competition (beyond inflectional morphology) is taken into account.
Keywords: adjectives, child language, uniformity, degree markers, morphological richness
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 license.
For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at email@example.com.
Published online: 17 December 2015
Bates, Elizabeth & Brian MacWhinney
Bol, Gerard W.
1995 “Implicational scaling in child language acquisition: The order of production of Dutch verb constructions”. Papers from the Dutch-German Colloquium on Language Acquisition ed. by Maaike Verrips and Frank Wijnen, 1–13. Amsterdam: Institute for General Linguistics.
Dressler, Wolfgang U.
2005 “Morphological typology and first language acquisition: Some mutual challenges”. Morphology and Linguistic Typology. On-line Proceedings of the Fourth Mediterranean Morphology Meeting (MMM4) Catania 21-23.9.2003 ed. by Geert Booij, Emiliano Guevara, Angela Ralli, Salvatore Sgroi and Sergio Scalise, 7–20. University of Bologna.
Dressler, Wolfgang, Ursula Stephany, Ayhan Aksu-Koç & Steven Gillis
Gagarina, Natalia V.
Laaha, Sabine & Steven Gillis
Tribushinina, E. & E. Dubinkina
Tribushinina, E. & S. Gillis
Tribushinina, E., H. van den Bergh, D. Ravid, A. Aksu-Koç, M. Kilani-Schoch, K. Korecky-Kröll, I. Leibovitch-Cohen, S. Laaha, B. Nir, W.U. Dressler & S. Gillis
Voeikova, Maria D.
Xanthos, A., S. Laaha, S. Gillis, U. Stephany, A. Aksu-Koç, A. Christofidou, N. Gagarina, G. Hrzica, F.N. Ketrez, M. Kilani-Schoch, K. Korecky-Kröll, M. Kovačević, K. Laalo, M. Palmović, B. Pfeiler, M.D. Voeikova & W.U. Dressler