The roles of word-form frequency and phonological neighbourhood density in the acquisition of Lithuanian noun morphology

2017 Journal of Child Language  
AbstractFour- and five-year-old children took part in an elicited familiar and novel Lithuanian noun production task to test predictions of input-based accounts of the acquisition of inflectional morphology. Two major findings emerged. First, as predicted by input-based accounts, correct production rates were correlated with the input frequency of the target form, and with the phonological neighbourhood density of the noun. Second, the error patterns were not compatible with the systematic
more » ... itution of target forms by either (a) the most frequent form of that noun or (b) a single morphosyntactic default form, as might be predicted by naive versions of a constructivist and generativist account, respectively. Rather, most errors reflected near-miss substitutions of singular for plural, masculine for feminine, or nominative/accusative for a less frequent case. Together, these findings provide support for an input-based approach to morphological acquisition, but are not adequately explained by any single account in its current form.
doi:10.1017/s030500091700037x pmid:29141701 fatcat:k6cpqs3exvgk5ezdfqeyulhdqm