Chapter published in:Sources of Variation in First Language Acquisition: Languages, contexts, and learners
Edited by Maya Hickmann †, Edy Veneziano and Harriet Jisa
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 22] 2018
► pp. 81–102
Chapter 4Retrieving meaning from noun and verb grammatical contexts
Interindividual variation among 2- to 4-year-old French-speaking children
Ninety French-speaking children aged 2 to 4 years were presented with short utterances containing homophonous or nonce words whose object or action meaning was identifiable on the sole basis of the preceding grammatical morpheme. Items in noun and verb contexts were presented to the same children in order to assess their ability to provide appropriate contrastive interpretations. Results show that, at all ages, items were correctly identified beyond chance, with 4-year-olds outperforming the 2- and 3-year-olds. Individually, however, only part of the children, even in the older group, performed beyond chance level, suggesting substantial interindividual variability and difficulties, still present at these ages, to tackle situations offering minimal information. A case study of the developmental relation between production and comprehension is also presented.
Keywords: first language acquisition, French, grammatical morphemes, noun-verb distinction, production and comprehension
- 3.1Group results
- 3.1.1Success rate: All items
- 3.1.2Success rate: Meaningful and nonce words
- 3.1.3Effect of age on success rate: All items
- 3.1.4Effect of age on success rate: Meaningful and nonce words
- 3.2Individual subjects’ results
- 3.2.1All items
- 3.2.2Meaningful homophonous and nonce words
- 3.3A case study of the relation between production and comprehension
- 3.1Group results
Published online: 22 February 2018
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