Early comprehension of the Spanish plural

Arias-Trejo, Natalia, Cantrell, Lisa M., Smith, Linda B. and Canto, Elda A. Alva (2014) Early comprehension of the Spanish plural. Journal of Child Language, 41 (6). pp. 1356-1372. ISSN 0305-0009

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Abstract

Understanding how linguistic cues map to the environment is crucial for early language comprehension and may provide a way for bootstrapping and learning words. Research has suggested that learning how plural syntax maps to the perceptual environment may show a trajectory in which children first learn surrounding cues (verbs, modifiers) before a full mastery of the noun morpheme alone. The Spanish plural system of simple codas, dominated by one allomorph -s, and with redundant agreement markers, may facilitate early understanding of how plural linguistic cues map to novel referents. Two-year-old Mexican children correctly identified multiple novel object referents when multiple verbal cues in a phrase indicated plurality as well as in instances when the noun morphology in novel nouns was the only indicator of plurality. These results demonstrate Spanish-speaking children's ability to use plural noun inflectional morphology to infer novel word referents which may have implications for their word learning.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 12:30
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2020 23:56
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69112
DOI: 10.1017/S0305000913000615

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