Acquisition of gender agreement in Lithuanian: exploring the effect of diminutive usage in an elicited production task

Inets Savickiene, Vera Kempe, Patricia J. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 13 Citations

Abstract

This study examines Lithuanian children's acquisition of gender agreement using an elicited production task. Lithuanian is a richly inflected Baltic language, with two genders and seven cases. Younger (N=24, mean 3;1, 2;5–3;8) and older (N=24, mean 6;3, 5;6–6;9) children were shown pictures of animals and asked to describe them after hearing the animal's name. Animal names differed with respect to familiarity (novel vs. familiar), derivational status (diminutive vs. simplex) and gender (masculine vs. feminine). Analyses of gender-agreement errors based on adjective and pronoun usage indicated that younger children made more errors than older children, with errors more prevalent for novel animal names. For novel animals, and for feminine nouns, children produced fewer errors with nouns introduced in diminutive form. These results complement findings from several Slavic languages (Russian, Serbian and Polish) that diminutives constitute a salient cluster of word forms that may provide an entry point for the child's acquisition of noun morphology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-494
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Fingerprint

child
animal
Diminutives
Gender agreement
Animal names
error
Lithuanian
acquisition
name
Animals
production
Familiarity
Salient
Slavic languages
masculine gender
Russian language
Serbian
morphology
picture
language

Cite this

Savickiene, Inets; Kempe, Vera; Brooks, Patricia J. / Acquisition of gender agreement in Lithuanian : exploring the effect of diminutive usage in an elicited production task.

In: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 36, No. 3, 01.2009, p. 477-494.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{4d350298382d49bbae464f56c07d27fa,
title = "Acquisition of gender agreement in Lithuanian: exploring the effect of diminutive usage in an elicited production task",
abstract = "This study examines Lithuanian children's acquisition of gender agreement using an elicited production task. Lithuanian is a richly inflected Baltic language, with two genders and seven cases. Younger (N=24, mean 3;1, 2;5–3;8) and older (N=24, mean 6;3, 5;6–6;9) children were shown pictures of animals and asked to describe them after hearing the animal's name. Animal names differed with respect to familiarity (novel vs. familiar), derivational status (diminutive vs. simplex) and gender (masculine vs. feminine). Analyses of gender-agreement errors based on adjective and pronoun usage indicated that younger children made more errors than older children, with errors more prevalent for novel animal names. For novel animals, and for feminine nouns, children produced fewer errors with nouns introduced in diminutive form. These results complement findings from several Slavic languages (Russian, Serbian and Polish) that diminutives constitute a salient cluster of word forms that may provide an entry point for the child's acquisition of noun morphology.",
author = "Inets Savickiene and Vera Kempe and Brooks, {Patricia J.}",
year = "2009",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0305000908009100",
volume = "36",
pages = "477--494",
journal = "Journal of Child Language",
issn = "0305-0009",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "3",

}

Acquisition of gender agreement in Lithuanian : exploring the effect of diminutive usage in an elicited production task. / Savickiene, Inets; Kempe, Vera; Brooks, Patricia J.

In: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 36, No. 3, 01.2009, p. 477-494.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Acquisition of gender agreement in Lithuanian

T2 - Journal of Child Language

AU - Savickiene,Inets

AU - Kempe,Vera

AU - Brooks,Patricia J.

PY - 2009/1

Y1 - 2009/1

N2 - This study examines Lithuanian children's acquisition of gender agreement using an elicited production task. Lithuanian is a richly inflected Baltic language, with two genders and seven cases. Younger (N=24, mean 3;1, 2;5–3;8) and older (N=24, mean 6;3, 5;6–6;9) children were shown pictures of animals and asked to describe them after hearing the animal's name. Animal names differed with respect to familiarity (novel vs. familiar), derivational status (diminutive vs. simplex) and gender (masculine vs. feminine). Analyses of gender-agreement errors based on adjective and pronoun usage indicated that younger children made more errors than older children, with errors more prevalent for novel animal names. For novel animals, and for feminine nouns, children produced fewer errors with nouns introduced in diminutive form. These results complement findings from several Slavic languages (Russian, Serbian and Polish) that diminutives constitute a salient cluster of word forms that may provide an entry point for the child's acquisition of noun morphology.

AB - This study examines Lithuanian children's acquisition of gender agreement using an elicited production task. Lithuanian is a richly inflected Baltic language, with two genders and seven cases. Younger (N=24, mean 3;1, 2;5–3;8) and older (N=24, mean 6;3, 5;6–6;9) children were shown pictures of animals and asked to describe them after hearing the animal's name. Animal names differed with respect to familiarity (novel vs. familiar), derivational status (diminutive vs. simplex) and gender (masculine vs. feminine). Analyses of gender-agreement errors based on adjective and pronoun usage indicated that younger children made more errors than older children, with errors more prevalent for novel animal names. For novel animals, and for feminine nouns, children produced fewer errors with nouns introduced in diminutive form. These results complement findings from several Slavic languages (Russian, Serbian and Polish) that diminutives constitute a salient cluster of word forms that may provide an entry point for the child's acquisition of noun morphology.

U2 - 10.1017/S0305000908009100

DO - 10.1017/S0305000908009100

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 477

EP - 494

JO - Journal of Child Language

JF - Journal of Child Language

SN - 0305-0009

IS - 3

ER -