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Young children's knowledge of the 'Determiner' and 'Adjective' categories


Kemp, NM and Lieven, E and Tomasello, M, Young children's knowledge of the 'Determiner' and 'Adjective' categories, Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 48, (3) pp. 592-609. ISSN 1092-4388 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/041)


Children's understanding of the grammatical categories of "determiner" and "adjective" was examined using 2 different methodologies. In Experiment 1, children heard novel nouns combined with either a or the. Few 2-year-olds, but nearly all 3- and 4-year-olds, subsequently produced the novel nouns with a different determiner from the modeled combination. Experiment 2 used a priming methodology. Children age 2, 3, 4, and 6 years repeated descriptions of pictures, before describing target pictures themselves. When the primes consisted of a varied determiner + noun, all age groups produced more determiner + noun descriptions. When the primes consisted of a determiner + adjective + noun, 2-year-olds showed no priming. Three- to 6-year-olds showed item-specific priming, but only 6-year-olds (and to a limited extent 4-year-olds) showed both item-specific and structural priming. These results suggest that children build an understanding of determiners and adjectives gradually, perhaps from individual lexical items, over a number of years, and that pragmatic correctness may be attained particularly late. ©American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Educational psychology
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kemp, NM (Associate Professor Nenagh Kemp)
ID Code:34404
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2006-03-08
Last Modified:2006-03-08

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