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A morphemic measure of early language development: data from modern Hebrew*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Esther Dromi
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University
Ruth A. Berman
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University

Abstract

Given the nature of Hebrew as a highly synthetic language with rich bound morphology, an attempt was made to establish a measure corresponding to the MLU for a language such as English. The method of calculating MPU (morpheme-per-utterance) which is described here was tried out on 38 Hebrew-speaking children aged 2;0 to 3;0, and measured for internal consistency against different types of elicitation procedures, and for validity by comparison with the subjects' performance on a specially-devised measure of syntactic–semantic development. The results clearly indicate that the MPU is a useful developmental index of the linguistic proficiency of two- to three-year-old Hebrew speakers. Implications of this finding for intra-linguistic and cross-linguistic evaluation are then discussed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1982

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Footnotes

[*]

The authors are indebted to Peter de Villiers for detailed discussions invaluable to the issues considered here, and to Dan I. Slobin for his important comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Address for correspondence: E. Dromi, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel 69978.

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