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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Title: Acquisition of Morpho-Phonology
Subtitle: The Dutch voicing alternation
Written By: Annemarie Kerkhoff
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series
Description:

This dissertation investigates how and when the Dutch voicing alternation is
acquired. In Dutch, final neutralisation of the voice contrast (final
devoicing) leads to alternations in singular-plural pairs such as
bed~bedden 'bed(s)'. In such pairs, the singular always ends in a voiceless
obstruent, whereas the plural contains a voiced obstruent. Knowledge of
this alternation can only be acquired on the basis of the inflected form,
which needs to be related to the neutralised stem.

The acquisition of the voicing alternation was investigated using corpus data
(based on CELEX and CHILDES) as well as experimental evidence. Experiments
consisted of elicitation of both plurals and singulars for words and non-words,
to investigate children's productive knowledge of the alternation. The research
was aimed at testing predictions of rule- and constraint-based models on the
one hand and analogical or usage-based models on the other.

Results show that the Dutch voicing alternation is acquired relatively late
and shows limited productivity, as it is not often extended to non-words.
It is argued that the results are interpreted most adequately in a
usage-based framework such as Bybee’s network model, in which
frequency-based generalisations or 'schemas' arise over stored words in the
lexicon. This dissertation is of relevance to researchers in the fields of
phonology, morphology, psycholinguistics and language acquisition.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Phonology
Psycholinguistics
Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Dutch
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328353
Pages: 325
Prices: Europe EURO 26.84