The influence of Lexical familiarity on children's function morpheme omissions: A nonmetrical effect?

Mary K. Boyle, Lou Ann Gerken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research on children's production of function morphemes demonstrated an effect of meter, such that syllabic morphemes that fit a Strong-weak metrical template were omitted less frequently than morphemes not fitting such a template. The current research addressed the question of whether all omissions of syllabic function morphemes occur when a syllable does not fit a metrical template, or whether other factors, such as lexical familiarity, also play a role. Two experiments demonstrated that 2-year-olds are more likely to omit object articles from sentences containing novel nouns or verbs than sentences containing well-known words. Furthermore, familiarity appears to influence omissions independent of meter, suggesting that function morpheme omissions are caused by at least two mechanisms. One possible mechanism, control over utterance timing, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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