To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The study investigates the acquisition of Hebrew zero and pronominal subjects in the context of first and second person. We provide distributional evidence relative to verb tense, number, person, and conversational utterance type, in a peer-talk corpus (2;0-8;0 years). Findings show that acquisition starts early on, that verb inflectional morphology is crucial for the development of pronominal subjects, and that communicative contexts affect subject realization. Zero and pronominal subjects are not evenly distributed relative to the study variables, and cannot be treated as an alternation. A cluster analysis shows that each realization is linked to a distinguishable usage pattern, corresponding with particular discursive and communicative functions. These are defined as three Discourse Profile Constructions: (A) “calling for action” by 1st.Pl.Fut zero subjects (3;0 year olds); (B) “commenting on the interlocutor’s actions” by 2nd.Sg.Past zero subjects (ages 4;0-6;0); and (C) “planning one’s own actions” by 1st.Sg.Fut pronominal subjects (7;0-8;0 year olds).
This study examined early Hebrew verb acquisition, highlighting CDS–CS relations across inflectional and derivational verb learning. It was carried out on a corpus of longitudinal dense dyadic interactions of two Hebrew-speaking toddlers aged 1;8–2;2 and their parents. Findings revealed correlated patterns within and between CDS and CS corpora in terms of verbs, structural root categories, and their components (roots, binyan conjugations, and derivational verb families), and clear relations between lexical-derivational development and inflectional growth in input–output relations, measured by MSP. It also showed that both corpora had few, yet highly semantically coherent, derivational families. Lexical learning in Hebrew was shown to be morphologically oriented, with both inflectional and derivational learning supporting and being supported by the development of the verb lexicon. These findings support findings in the general literature regarding the close relationship between parental input and child speech, and the affinity between lexical and grammatical growth.
The current study examined the production of Hebrew verbal passives across adolescence as mediated by linguistic register and verb morphology. Participants aged eight to sixteen years and a group of adults were asked to change written active-voice sentences into corresponding passive-voice forms, divided by verb register (neutral and high), binyan pattern (Qal / Nif'al, Hif'il / Huf'al, and Pi'el / Pu'al), and verb tense (past and future tense). Results showed that Hebrew passive morphology is a very late acquisition, almost a decade later than in other languages, that passivizing neutral-register verbs was less challenging than high-register verbs, and that past tense verbs were easier to passivize than future tense verbs. An order of acquisition was determined among the three binyan pairs. The paper provides an account of these findings grounded in the event-telling role of Hebrew passives in discourse and the spurt of abstract, lexically specific vocabulary in Later Language Development.
A spelling model which has evolved in the parallel universe of spelling research resonates with Frost's reading model. Like reading, spelling cannot be based solely on phonology or orthography, but should accommodate all linguistic facets. The cognitive domain of spelling does not take place at the level of single grapheme or phoneme or syllable, but rather, at the lexical level.
This paper examines the role of morphology in gradeschool children's learning to read nonpointed Hebrew. It presents two experiments testing the reading of morphologically based nonpointed pseudowords. One hundred seventy-one Hebrew-speaking children and adolescents in seven age/schooling groups (beginning and end of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 11th grade) and a group of adults participated in the study. Participants were administered two tasks of reading aloud nonpointed pseudowords with morphological composition: words in isolation and words in sentential context. Results pinpoint the developmental milestones on the way to efficient nonpointed word recognition in Hebrew: learning to use morphological pattern cues to fill in missing phonological information, where second grade is an important “watershed” period; and overcoming homography by learning to detect morphosyntactic cues, an ability that develops more gradually and over a longer period than pattern recognition.
Few researchers would doubt that ultimate attainment in second language grammar is negatively correlated with age of acquisition, but considerable controversy remains about the nature of this relationship: the exact shape of the age-attainment function and its interpretation. This article presents two parallel studies with native speakers of Russian: one on the acquisition of English as a second language in North America (n = 76), and one on the acquisition of Hebrew as a second language in Israel (n = 64). Despite the very different nature of the languages being learned, the two studies show very similar results. When age at testing is partialed out, the data reveal a steep decline in the learning of grammar before age 18 in both groups, followed by an essentially horizontal slope until age 40. This is interpreted as evidence in favor of the critical period. Both groups show a significant correlation between ultimate attainment and verbal aptitude for the adult learners, but not for the early learners. This is interpreted as further evidence that the learning processes in childhood and adulthood not only yield different levels of proficiency but are also different in nature.
We compare learning of two inflection types – obligatory noun plurals and optional noun possessives. We tested 107 Hebrew-speaking children aged 6–7 on the same tasks at the beginning and end of first grade. Performance on both constructions improved during this short period, but plurals scored higher from the start, with improvement only in changing stems. The main remaining challenge in mastering noun plural marking in grade school is thus to learn the various types of stem changes. In contrast, possessives improved across the board in first grade, with higher success on non-changing stems and first person suffixes respectively. This intense gain in first grade occurs when children learn to read and write and turn to the written modality as their main source of linguistic input. The study thus testifies to the impact of the shift from spoken language to the ‘language of literacy’ on children's construal of Hebrew morphology.
The study examines prosodic characteristics of Hebrew speech directed to children between 0 ; 9–3 ; 0 years, based on longitudinal samples of 228,946 tokens (8,075 types). The distribution of prosodic patterns – the number of syllables and stress patterns – is analyzed across three lexical categories, distinguishing not only between open- and closed-class items, but also between these two categories and a third, innovative, class, referred to as between-class items. Results indicate that Hebrew CDS consists mainly of mono- and bisyllabic words, with differences between lexical categories; and that the most common stress pattern is word-final, with parallel distributions found for all categories. Additional analyses showed that verbs take word-final stress, but nouns are both trochaic and iambic. Finally, a developmental analysis indicates a significant increase in the number of iambic words in CDS. These findings have clear implications regarding the use of prosody for word segmentation and assignment of lexical class in infancy.
The paper examines the nominal lexicon in later language acquisition as a window on linguistic knowledge and usage across childhood and adolescence. The paper presents a psycholinguistically motivated and cognitively grounded analysis of the distribution of ten semantic noun categories (the Noun Scale) across development, modality, and genre. Eighty Hebrew-speaking children (9;0 to 10;0), adolescents (12;0 to 13;0 and 16;0 to 17;0), and a group of adult university graduate students participated in the study. Each produced four different texts: a spoken and written narrative and a spoken and written expository, yielding a total of 320 texts. All lexical noun tokens in each of the 320 texts were analysed to determine their score on the Noun Scale. Results indicate that nominal density, which underlies much of the syntactic architecture of texts, increases dramatically in adolescence, towards adulthood. The paper analyses the developmental patterns of each of the ten Noun Scale categories, showing that the nominal lexicon of schoolaged children is already very different from that of young children in having only a small amount of genuinely concrete nouns, and these too only in narrative texts. The quantitative analysis shows that nouns grow more categorical and abstract with age and schooling, especially in adolescence. Written expository texts are the preferred habitat of abstract, categorical nouns from early on. The systematic qualitative analysis of noun tokens in their textual context demonstrates how the nominal lexicon undergoes fundamental changes that are affected by linguistic, cognitive and social development, in interaction with text genre and modality.
This study investigates the role of phonological and morphological information in children's developing orthographies in two languages with different linguistic typologies: Hebrew, a Semitic language with a highly synthetic morphology, and Dutch, a Germanic language with a sparse morphology.
192 Israeli and 192 Belgian monolingual schoolchildren in grades 1–6 (aged 6;0–12;0) were administered respective dictation tasks in which homophonous segments were the targets. In each language, these phonologically distinct segments are neutralized phonetically but are nevertheless represented orthographically. In both languages the target segments in the test words differed along two dimensions: (1) their morphological function as part of a stem or root versus as part of an affix; and (2) their morphophonological recoverability. The spelling tests in both languages consisted of four conditions which differed in the number and type of cues for retrieving the correct spelling of homophonous graphemes. The cues were of two types: morphological cues, which offer spellers clues to the correct spelling through consistent orthography/morphology mapping regularities; and morphophonological cues, which offer spellers clues to the correct spelling through the manipulation of orthography/morphophonology conversion procedures.
A central finding of this study is the differential treatment of morphological cues by Dutch and Hebrew spelling learners. When faced with neutralized segments with and without morphological function, Hebrew-speaking children find morphology an enormously helpful tool. Dutch-speaking children, in contrast, do not find morphology a good cue provider. The impact of typology on the interface between spoken and written language is invoked as an explanation of the main findings.
The acquisition of German plurals has been the focus of controversy in the last decade. In this paper we claim that degree of productivity (i.e. the capacity of nouns to form potential plurals) plays a key role in determining pace of acquisition. A plural elicitation task was administered to 84 Viennese German-speaking children aged 2;6 to 6;0. Analyses of correct responses showed that the highest scores were obtained with -e plurals, followed by the plural markers -e +U, -er +U, -s and -(e)n. The lowest score was observed for pure Umlaut (U) plurals. Analyses suggested an impact of productivity on the number of correct scores: fully productive and productive plural patterns obtained higher correct scores than weakly productive and non-productive ones. The results of the study support our productivity scale and are compatible both with single-route models and with a race-model variant of the dual-route view.
This study examined the distribution of two Hebrew nominal structures – N–N compounds and denominal adjectives – in spoken and written texts of two genres produced by 90 native-speaking participants in three age groups: eleven/twelve-year-olds (6th graders), sixteen/seventeen-year-olds (11th graders), and adults. The two constructions are later linguistic acquisitions, part of the profound lexical and syntactic changes that occur in language development during the school years. They are investigated in the context of learning how modality (speech vs. writing) and genre (biographical vs. expository texts) affect the production of continuous discourse.
Participants were asked to speak and write about two topics, one biographical, describing the life of a public figure or of a friend; and another, expository, discussing one of ten topics such as the cinema, cats, or higher academic studies. N–N compounding was found to be the main device of complex subcategorization in Hebrew discourse, unrelated to genre. Denominal adjectives are a secondary subcategorizing device emerging only during the late teen years, a linguistic resource untapped until very late, more restricted to specific text types than N–N compounding, and characteristic of expository writing. Written texts were found to be denser than spoken texts lexically and syntactically as measured by number of novel N–N compounds and denominal adjectives per clause, and in older age groups this difference was found to be more pronounced. The paper contributes to our understanding of how the syntax/lexicon interface changes with age, modality and genre in the context of later language acquisition.
The model under discussion was elaborated in response to our need to
construct a general, explicit and integrative framework for the seemingly
different strands of research that we and our associates have carried out in the
last decade or so. The findings of these studies made it increasingly clear to
us that it is impossible to account for the dramatic changes in language
knowledge and language use in children and adolescents within the boundaries of current research paradigms in language acquisition. Our goal was
thus to relate later language acquisition and children's increasing cognitive
abilities to literacy development in a motivated way, focusing on germane
themes in socio-linguistics and discourse analysis, on the one hand, and
facets of written language, on the other.
This is a position paper modelling the domain of linguistic literacy and
its development through the life span. It aims to provide a framework
for the analysis of language development in the school years, integrating
sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic notions of variation, language awareness, and literacy in a comprehensive model. The paper focuses on those
aspects of literacy competence that are expressed in language as well as
aspects of linguistic knowledge that are affected by literacy competence,
tracing the route that children take in appropriating linguistic literacy as
part of their cognitive abilities and examining the effect of literacy on
language across development. Our view of linguistic literacy consists of
one defining feature: control over linguistic variation from both a user-dependent (‘lectal’) and a context-dependent (modality, genre, and
register) perspective; of one concomitant process: metalanguage and its
role in language development; and of one condition: familiarity with
writing and written language from two aspects: written language as
discourse style – the recognition that the kind of language used for
writing is essentially different from the one used for speech; and written
language as a notational system – the perception and growing command
of the representational system that is used in the written modality.
Linguistic literacy is viewed as a constituent of language knowledge
characterized by the availability of multiple linguistic resources and by
the ability to consciously access one's own linguistic knowledge and to
view language from various perspectives.
This study had two major objectives: (1) to analyse the development of two morphological structures in Hebrew, one inflectional and the other derivational and (2) to examine the mutual contribution of morphological knowledge and learning the written code. In a longitudinal design, 40 children were tested twice, first in kindergarten (mean age: 5; 11) and again in first grade (mean age: 6;5), on two oral tasks – inflecting nouns for possession and deriving denominal adjectives – and one written task of writing a series of noun-adjective pairs. The derivational task was found to be harder than the inflectional task, both on the stem and the suffix level, attributable to its higher semantic opacity. In both oral tests, correct stem production when suffixed was related to the morphophonological level of stem change. Correlations were found between morphological and writing scores. Moreover, children who were more advanced in morphology in kindergarten progressed more in writing vowels from kindergarten to first grade, and those who were more advanced in writing in kindergarten improved more in derivational morphology with grade.
Derived nominals are abstract nouns derived from verbs and adjectives
by nominalization. This study traces the route taken by Hebrew-speaking
children in the acquisition of Hebrew derived nominals
(HDNs) of two types: action nominals which conform in structure to the
small set of obligatory verb patterns (binyanim) (e.g. ktiva
deverbal nouns, which belong to separate nominal patterns (e.g. maga
‘touch’). One hundred native speakers of Hebrew (children aged
5, 8, 11
and 15, and adults) were tested on comprehension and production of
HDNs. The test items were grouped by binyan patterns and by
morphological regularity. Results showed that acquisition of HDNs
starts at about age 8 and is not complete by age 15, and that task type,
binyan pattern and morphological regularity all affect ease of
We consider the strategies employed in the course of acquisition of
HDNs and offer an explanation for this late acquisition which requires
a vast amount of prior integrated knowledge.