Article published in:EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 5 (2005)
Edited by Susan H. Foster-Cohen, María del Pilar García Mayo and Jasone Cenoz
[EUROSLA Yearbook 5] 2005
► pp. 251–268
Exploring a second language
The discovery of morphological productivity
A dynamic approach to the acquisition of morphologically complex words assumes that, initially, all words are interpreted holistically. At later stages of acquisition, increasingly more words are analyzed and morphological regularities are discovered. When productivity is defined as the chance that a newly formed word is produced on the basis of a particular affix (Baayen and Lieber, 1991), discovering morphological regularity can be interpreted as discovering productivity. This study finds evidence that contradicts an earlier study (Lowie, 2000) which suggested that morphological productivity starts playing a role only at the most advanced levels of acquisition. The current study used response latencies to test productivity cross-sectionally by comparing English native speaker response rates to those of Dutch learners of English at different levels of proficiency. Using this paradigm, productivity was evident from the earliest stages of acquisition and, at advanced levels, awareness was found even of the productivity of marginally productive affixes.
Published online: 02 August 2005
Cited by 4 other publications
Carlson, Matthew T. & Chip Gerfen
Dal Maso, Serena & Hélène Giraudo
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