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Title: Pre- and Protomorphology
Subtitle: Early Phases of Morphological Development in Nouns and Verbs
Edited By: Maria D. Voeikova
Wolfgang U. Dressler
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 29

How can we explain that young children appear to acquire very different
morphological systems in similar ways? What are the similarities in
acquisition across the very different language systems that they learn? Are
also different parts of morphology, such as inflection and derivation
acquired in similar ways? Are there differences in nominal vs. verbal

In providing answers to such basic questions this volume presents the
intermediate results of the international "Crosslinguistic Project on Pre-
and Protomorphology in Language Acquisition" co-ordinated by Wolfgang U.
Dressler in behalf of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Premorphology
refers to the phase when small children use only isolated rote-learnt
morphological forms and onomatopoetic and other extragrammatical
morphology-like operations. In the protomorphological phase children detect
morphology and start to actively compose and decompose words. The aim of
this project is to compare the acquisition of morphology in up to 20
languages by children from about 1;2 through at least 3;0 years of age.
The book includes several introductory chapters written by the project
co-ordinators on the base of the written reports of participants and
several studies on the acquisition of noun and verb morphology in the
transitory phase from pre- to protomorphology and in the protomorphological
phase in nine languages (Croatian, Finnish, French, German, Italian,
Lithuanian, Russian, Spanish, and Yucatec Maya). Whereas the introductory
chapters focus on crosslinguistic comparison, the other authors describe
children’s acquisition of single languages in detail. Both inflectional and
derivational morphology are investigated in nouns, including such topics as
compounding, diminutive formation, case and number distinctions. Verbs are
described from the point of view of inflectional morphology and agreement.

Table of contents:

Maria Voeikova (Saint Petersburg, Vienna) & Wolfgang U. Dressler (Vienna):

Ursula Stephany (Cologne): Early development of grammatical number – a
typological perspective

Maria Voeikova (Saint Petersburg, Vienna): The acquisition of case in
typologically different languages

Marianne Kilani-Schoch (Lausanne) & Wolfgang U. Dressler (Vienna): The
emergence of inflectional paradigms in two French corpora: an illustration
of general problems of pre- and protomorphology

Sabine Klampfer & Katharina Korecky-Kröll (Vienna): Nouns and verbs at the
transition from pre- to protomorphology: a longitudinal case study on
Austrian German

Barbara Pfeiler (Merida): Noun and verb acquisition in Yucatec Maya.

Klaus Laalo (Tampere): Acquisition of case in Finnish: a preliminary

Ineta Savickiene (Kaunas): The emergence of case distinctions in Lithuanian

Maria Voeikova (Saint Petersburg, Vienna) & Natalia Gagarina (Berlin):
Early syntax, first lexicon and the acquisition of case forms by two
Russian children

Anna de Marco (Cosenza): The development of diminutives in Italian: input
and acquisition

Victoria Marrero (Madrid), María José Albalá (Madrid) & Ignacio Moreno
(Málaga): Use of diminutives by children and adults in Spanish. A
preliminary analysis

Carmen Aguirre (Vienna): The acquisition of tense and aspect morphology: a
key for semantic interpretation

Zrinka Jelaska, Melita Kovacevic & Maja Andel (Zagreb): Morphology and
semantics – the basis of Croatian case

Authors' page

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Finnish
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3895864684
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 200
Prices: Europe EURO 83