Overgeneralisations of the verb stem in the acquisition of Croatian language Cover Image

Daj mi to napisaj: preopćavanja glagolske osnove u usvajanju hrvatskog jezika
Overgeneralisations of the verb stem in the acquisition of Croatian language

Author(s): Gordana Hržica
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Hrvatsko filološko društvo
Keywords: language acquisition; acquisition of morphology; overgeneralisation; verb classes and subclasses; Croatian

Summary/Abstract: Acquisition of morphology is a demanding task in language acquisition. Young speakers use diverse strategies to simplify complex segments of language morphology. As a child reaches the competence level of adult speakers the need for such strategies gradually decreases. Studying overgeneralisations, specific types of errors occurring during language acquisition, is a way to reconstruct the mechanisms underlying the strategies of simplification. Previous research and theoretical assumptions emphasise the importance of transparency and productivity of morphological paradigms for overgeneralisations. This paper describes the research on verb overgeneralisations in Croatian language acquisition. The system of verb classes and subclasses was used to classify overgeneralisations. Croatian verbs are classified according to differences between present and infinitive stems and most overgeneralizations consist of picking the wrong stem in building a verb form (e.g. inf. stem pis–a– ’write’, pres. stem piš–e– as in piš–e–m ’I write’ and overgeneralized form *pis–a–m). The study is based on data from Croatian Corpus of Child Language (Kovačević, 2002). Croatian Corpus of Child Language is a longitudinal corpus of spoken language transcripts of children acquiring Croatian. Verb overgeneralisations were classified according to their verb class and the verb class of the overgeneralised form. Analysis shows the influence of transparency of verb paradigm on overgeneralisation. Productivity of verb class did not show the effect on overgeneralisation.

  • Issue Year: 38/2012
  • Issue No: 74
  • Page Range: 189-208
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Croatian