Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

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."


We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at https://linguistlist.org/!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at webdevlinguistlist.org***

Academic Paper


Title: Infinitives or bare stems? Are English-speaking children defaulting to the highest-frequency form?
Author: Ben Ambridge
Institution: University of Liverpool
Author: Julian M. Pine
Institution: University of Liverpool
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Morphology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Young English-speaking children often produce utterances with missing 3sg -s (e.g., *He play). Since the mid 1990s, such errors have tended to be treated as Optional Infinitive (OI) errors, in which the verb is a non-finite form (e.g., Wexler, ; Legate & Yang, ). The present article reports the results of a cross-sectional elicited-production study with 22 children (aged 3;1–4;1), which investigated the possibility that at least some apparent OI errors reflect a process of defaulting to the form with the highest frequency in the input. Across 48 verbs, a significant negative correlation was observed between the proportion of ‘bare’ vs. 3sg -s forms in a representative input corpus and the rate of 3sg -s production. This finding suggests that, in addition to other learning mechanisms that yield such errors cross-linguistically, at least some of the OI errors produced by English-speaking children reflect a process of defaulting to a high-frequency/phonologically simple form.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 41, Issue 4.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page