Children’s Comprehension and Production of Derivational Suffixes Relational knowledge of 21 derivational suffixes conveying six different meanings was investigated with 120 children from 3rd to 8th grade, and with 40 adults. The results obtained from a nonsense-word paradigm indicated that suffixes were comprehended with greater accuracy than they were produced, particularly by the children. Children in the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1994
Children’s Comprehension and Production of Derivational Suffixes
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer Windsor
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
  • Contact author: Jennifer Windsor, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455-0209. E-mail: windsor@vx.cis.umn.edu
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1994
Children’s Comprehension and Production of Derivational Suffixes
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1994, Vol. 37, 408-417. doi:10.1044/jshr.3702.408
History: Received February 5, 1993 , Accepted November 2, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1994, Vol. 37, 408-417. doi:10.1044/jshr.3702.408
History: Received February 5, 1993; Accepted November 2, 1993

Relational knowledge of 21 derivational suffixes conveying six different meanings was investigated with 120 children from 3rd to 8th grade, and with 40 adults. The results obtained from a nonsense-word paradigm indicated that suffixes were comprehended with greater accuracy than they were produced, particularly by the children. Children in the 5th through 8th grades were more accurate than children in the 3rd and 4th grades in both suffix comprehension and production. Children and adults demonstrated greatest accuracy in both comprehension and production with the meaning “without X” (conveyed by the suffix less). Overall, they showed low comprehension accuracy with a diminutive suffix, ette, and the suffix ful, meaning “character of X.” They showed low production accuracy with “can be Xed” (able). Productive suffixes were produced more frequently than less productive suffixes to convey a given meaning.

Acknowledgments
Particular thanks are extended to Kathleen Niznick for her extensive help in both soliciting and running subjects. Thanks are extended also to Juli Erickson, Ann Ollila, and Rebecca Schmidt for their help in creating the stimulus materials and to Mina Hwang for her help with interjudge reliability checking and data analysis. I am very grateful to the students at Epiphany School, Coon Rapids, MN for their participation and to their parents and school staff, especially Lorna Casey and Sister Carol Bongaarts, whose help greatly simplified the data collection. This research was supported in part by the University of Minnesota Graduate School through a Grant-In-Aid of Research and a Faculty Summer Research Fellowship and also by an award from the Bryng Bryngelson Communication Disorders Research Fund at the University of Minnesota.
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