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Patterns of pronoun case error

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 1998

MATTHEW RISPOLI
Affiliation:
Arizona State University

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether the rate and patterns of pronoun case error are influenced by the composition of an individual pronoun's paradigm. Twenty-nine children, aged 2;6 to 4;0 were audiotaped for two 1-hour sessions, interacting with their primary caregivers engaged in free play, book reading and family album viewing. It was found that her was overextended for she at a significantly higher rate than him for he and them for they, providing evidence of a ‘double-cell’ effect that increases the incidence of error in the feminine pronoun. It was also found that the overextension of nominative forms (e.g. he for him), were antagonistic to the more frequently occurring type of overextension, objective for nominative (e.g. him for he). These findings indicate that the composition of a pronoun's paradigm influenced the patterns of pronoun case error observed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1998 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

The research reported in this paper is based on a study funded by the National Science Foundation, SBR-9507849. The author would like to thank Sonya Givan and Ann Goodrich for their hard work in collecting, transcribing and coding these data. The author would also like to thank Ann Peters, Pamela Hadley and two anonymous reviewers for comments and criticism.
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