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Academic Paper


Title: Nouns and Verbs in Chintang: Children's Usage and Surrounding Adult Speech
Author: Sabine E. Stoll
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/staff/stoll/index.html
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: Balthasar Bickel
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~bickel
Institution: Universität Leipzig
Author: Elena V. Lieven
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: Netra Prasad Paudyal
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://uni-leipzig.de
Institution: Universität Leipzig
Author: Goma Banjade
Institution: Chintang and Puma Documentation Project
Author: Toya Nath Bhatta
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Chintang and Puma Documentation Project
Author: Martin Gaenszle
Institution: Chintang and Puma Documentation Project
Author: Judith Pettigrew
Institution: Chintang and Puma Documentation Project
Author: Ichchha Purna Rai
Institution: Chintang and Puma Documentation Project
Author: Manoj Rai
Institution: Chintang and Puma Documentation Project
Author: Novel Kishore Rai
Institution: City University London
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Chhintange
Abstract: Analyzing the development of the noun-to-verb ratio in a longitudinal corpus of four Chintang (Sino-Tibetan) children, we find that up to about age four, children have a significantly higher ratio than adults. Previous cross-linguistic research rules out an explanation of this in terms of a universal noun bias; instead, a likely cause is that Chintang verb morphology is polysynthetic and difficult to learn. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the development of Chintang children's noun-to-verb ratio correlates significantly with the extent to which they show a similar flexibility with verbal morphology to that of the surrounding adults, as measured by morphological paradigm entropy. While this development levels off around age three, children continue to have a higher overall noun-to-verb ratio than adults. A likely explanation lies in the kinds of activities that children are engaged in and that are almost completely separate from adults' activities in this culture.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .



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