It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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Interaction of Lexical and Grammatical Aspect in Toddlers' Language
This study examined the effect of lexical aspect on children's imitation accuracy of English tense-aspect morphology. Thirty-five typically developing children, ages 2;4 to 3;1, imitated sentence-pairs in which the same regular verb was used once in an activity (skip on the rug) and once in an accomplishment (skip out the door). Children imitated past-imperfective morphology equally well in accomplishments and activities, but they imitated past-perfective morphology with higher accuracy in accomplishments than activities. These findings suggest that children's early morphology development is influenced by lexical aspect conveyed at the sentence level, as predicted by the 'prototype hypothesis'.