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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.
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