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Title: Article Omission in Headlines and Child Language
Subtitle: A Processing Approach
Written By: Joke de Lange
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 189

This study compares article omission in newspaper headlines with article
omission in child speech in Dutch, Italian and German. It presents the
results of a corpus investigation based on a database collection of one
thousand headlines for each language. In addition, it presents and analyzes
the results of the first experiment ever with newspaper readers giving
judgements on whether or not articles can be omitted in a variety of
linguistic contexts in headlines in their language. The investigation of
article omission in child speech has been based on files from Dutch,
Italian and German CHILDES corpora.

The results of the study show that there are both crosslinguistic
differences as well as clear and interesting similarities between the
patterns of article omission in the various groups of speakers. It is
argued that the observed differences and similarities offer evidence for
the claim that both children and adults omit articles because of the
processing cost necessary to retrieve articles from the article set. The
more difficult the selection process, the more processing resources are
required for the selection of an article. An information-theoretical
measure, the relative entropy value, is used to calculate the level of
complexity of this article selection process. It is shown how the
differences in relative entropy value of the article sets in the three
languages can account for the observed omission patterns.

This study is of relevance to researchers in the fields of first language
acquisition, psycholinguistics, text linguistics and communication and
information sciences.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Dutch
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328636
Pages: 325
Prices: Europe EURO 25.95