The Role of Developmental Levels in Examining the Effect of Subject Types on the Production of Auxiliary Is in Young English-Speaking Children PurposePrior work (Guo, Owen, & Tomblin, 2010) has shown that at the group level, auxiliary is production by young English-speaking children was symmetrical across lexical noun and pronominal subjects. Individual data did not uniformly reflect these patterns. On the basis of the framework of the gradual morphosyntactic learning (GML) hypothesis, ... Research Note
Research Note  |   December 01, 2011
The Role of Developmental Levels in Examining the Effect of Subject Types on the Production of Auxiliary Is in Young English-Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ling-Yu Guo
    University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
  • Amanda J. Owen Van Horne
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • J. Bruce Tomblin
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Correspondence to Ling-Yu Guo: lingyugu@buffalo.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Pamela Hadley
    Associate Editor: Pamela Hadley×
Article Information
Development / Language
Research Note   |   December 01, 2011
The Role of Developmental Levels in Examining the Effect of Subject Types on the Production of Auxiliary Is in Young English-Speaking Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2011, Vol. 54, 1658-1666. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0140)
History: Received May 26, 2010 , Revised December 16, 2010 , Accepted April 24, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2011, Vol. 54, 1658-1666. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0140)
History: Received May 26, 2010; Revised December 16, 2010; Accepted April 24, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

PurposePrior work (Guo, Owen, & Tomblin, 2010) has shown that at the group level, auxiliary is production by young English-speaking children was symmetrical across lexical noun and pronominal subjects. Individual data did not uniformly reflect these patterns. On the basis of the framework of the gradual morphosyntactic learning (GML) hypothesis, the authors tested whether the addition of a theoretically motivated developmental measure, tense productivity (TP), could assist in explaining these individual differences.

MethodUsing archival data from 20 children between age 2;8 and 3;4 (years;months), the authors tested the ability of 3 developmental measures (TP; finite verb morphology composite, FVMC; mean length of utterance, MLU) to predict use of auxiliary is with different subject types.

ResultsTP, but not MLU or FVMC, significantly improved model fit. Children with low TP scores produced auxiliary is more accurately with pronominal subjects than with lexical subjects. The facilitative effect of pronominal subjects on the production of auxiliary is, however, was not found in children with high TP scores.

ConclusionThe finding that the effect of subject types on the production accuracy of auxiliary is changed with children’s TP is consistent with the GML hypothesis.

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