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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Acquiring Tarifit-Berber by Children in the Netherlands and Morocco Add Dissertation
Author: Yahya E-rramdani Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universiteit van Tilburg, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition;
Subject Language(s): Tarifit
Director(s): Guus Extra
Abderrahman El Aissati

Abstract: How do grammatical morphemes develop among Tarifit speaking children? How capable are they in dealing appropriately with the different word order patterns Tarifit? The study carried out aims at answering these 2 major questions with to children in the Netherlands, compared to their peers in Morocco. The younger group of children aged 4-5 years, referred to as grade 1 children, and the older group up of children aged 12-13 years, referred to as grade 8 children.

The investigation focuses on the acquisition of morphology and syntax. 5 domains have been dealt with, i.e. 2 domains within the category of nouns involving plural formation and case marking, 2 other ones within the category of verbs represented by gender-number distinction and perfective formation. The last domain deals with syntax, and is concerned with word order construction.

Three stages are distinguished. Stage 1 is referred to as the lexical stage, marked by the absence of any morphological devices, and dominated by the use of lexical means. Stage 2 represents the initial morphological stage, characterized in particular by default rules which become overgeneralized. Morphological applications at this stage result in both correct and incorrect forms. The third stage is the final morphological stage, marked by the correct use of morphological devices such as prefixation, infixation and/or suffixation, as well as by the correct morphological inflections. Overgeneralization strategies disappear in this third stage. When applying this developmental schema on Tarifit speaking children in the Netherlands, the majority of grade 1 children were in the first stage. A small number reached the second stage, spread over the first part of suffixation in which they ignored the prefixation process, and the second part in which both prefixation and suffixation devices were used. Very few children reached stage 3, and succeeded in matching their peers in Morocco. Grade 8 children in the Netherlands were in the morphological stage, and were distributed over stage 2 and stage 3.