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Verb acquistion : the role of morphological bootstrapping Carr, Laura Jayne


The purpose of this study was to investigate children's ability to use verb inflections to learn about verb meaning. This ability was assessed in twenty four children with normally developing language (NL) aged 3;6 to 5;2 and eight children with specific language impairment (SLI) aged 4;0 to 4;5. Each participant viewed a video a depicting novel event scene paired with an inflected novel verb and were then asked to identify additional events which also fit the novel label. General findings indicated that younger NL children (aged 3;6 to 4;5) used verb inflections to help interpret novel verb meaning. The older N L children (aged 4;6 to 5;2) and the children with SLI did not show evidence of using this strategy. The results are discussed with reference to knowledge of grammatical morphemes, knowledge of temporal concepts, cognitive/linguistic biases and metacognitive abilities.

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