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1 Rachel Schiff Bar-Ilan University, Israel Dorit Ravid Tel Aviv University, Israel White elephants vs. white walls: Conflicting cues in learning to mark.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Rachel Schiff Bar-Ilan University, Israel Dorit Ravid Tel Aviv University, Israel White elephants vs. white walls: Conflicting cues in learning to mark."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Rachel Schiff Bar-Ilan University, Israel Dorit Ravid Tel Aviv University, Israel White elephants vs. white walls: Conflicting cues in learning to mark plural adjectives in Hebrew

2 2 Aims To examine lexical and morphological development in Hebrew-speaking children from two SES backgrounds

3 3 Or How to produce white elephants?

4 4 Noun-Adjective agreement in the Hebrew noun phrase pil lavan elephant white pila levana elephant,Fm white,Fm pil lavan elephant white pila levana elephant,Fm white,Fm Adjectives agree with nouns in gender and number

5 5 Noun-Adjective agreement in the Hebrew noun phrase pilim levanim elephants white,Pl pilot levanot elephants,Fm white,Pl,Fm pilim levanim elephants white,Pl pilot levanot elephants,Fm white,Pl,Fm Adjectives agree with nouns in gender and number

6 6 Task Given a singular noun phrase consisting of a noun and an adjective, produce the plural noun phrase, that is, the plural noun and the plural adjective Oral, individual administration Measures: Accuracy and Latency Given a singular noun phrase consisting of a noun and an adjective, produce the plural noun phrase, that is, the plural noun and the plural adjective Oral, individual administration Measures: Accuracy and Latency

7 7 360 Participants 180 children from middle-high SES 180 children from low SES 180 children from middle-high SES 180 children from low SES

8 8 SES Berliner, 2005; Chiu & McBride-Chang, 2006 A multidimensional concept that captures family capital –Financial capital (monetary and material resources) –Human capital (educational and cultural resources) –Social capital (social connections linked with career and the like) – Problem with linguistic and other input? A multidimensional concept that captures family capital –Financial capital (monetary and material resources) –Human capital (educational and cultural resources) –Social capital (social connections linked with career and the like) – Problem with linguistic and other input?

9 9 Grade / AgeMid-hi SESLow SES G G G G G G

10 10 First step: Noun pluralization Plural suffixes on nouns follow singular noun phonology

11 11 Noun plurals: Feminine Nouns ending in -a or -t are feminine, and take –ot in plural pila pilot elephant,Fm elephants,Fm karit kariyot (throw) pillow,Fm pillows,Fm Nouns ending in -a or -t are feminine, and take –ot in plural pila pilot elephant,Fm elephants,Fm karit kariyot (throw) pillow,Fm pillows,Fm

12 12 Noun plurals: Masculine Nouns ending in consonants (other than –t) are masculine, and take –im in plural pil pilim elephant elephants kar karim pillow pillows Nouns ending in consonants (other than –t) are masculine, and take –im in plural pil pilim elephant elephants kar karim pillow pillows

13 13 Problem # 1 Irregular plural suffixes masculine nouns – pil pilim elephant elephants, Masc However – kir kirot wall walls, Masc – pil pilim elephant elephants, Masc However – kir kirot wall walls, Masc

14 14 Problem # 1 Irregular plural suffixes feminine nouns – pila pilot elephant,Fm elephants,Fm However – beytsa beytsim egg,Fm eggs, Fm – pila pilot elephant,Fm elephants,Fm However – beytsa beytsim egg,Fm eggs, Fm

15 15 Noun problem #1: Noun suffix Prediction: irregular noun plural suffixes constitute (more of) a problem for younger children, and for children from low SES Lexical (and morpho-phonological) knowledge Ravid, 1995; Ravid & Schiff in press, Linguistics; Ravid et al, in press Prediction: irregular noun plural suffixes constitute (more of) a problem for younger children, and for children from low SES Lexical (and morpho-phonological) knowledge Ravid, 1995; Ravid & Schiff in press, Linguistics; Ravid et al, in press

16 16 Noun stem Stems may stay unchanged when inflected tik tikim bag bags sira sirot boat boats Stems may stay unchanged when inflected tik tikim bag bags sira sirot boat boats

17 17 Noun problem #2: Noun stem But stems may also undergo change when inflected ish anashim man men simla smalot dress dresses But stems may also undergo change when inflected ish anashim man men simla smalot dress dresses

18 18 Combine problems #1 and #2 Changing stems with irregular suffixes lev levavot heart, masc hearts Masculine stem with feminine suffix Changing stem Changing stems with irregular suffixes lev levavot heart, masc hearts Masculine stem with feminine suffix Changing stem

19 19 Task structure: 32 N-A pairs 8 N-A pairs Nouns with non- changing stems and regular suffixes 8 N-A pairs Nouns with non- changing stems and irregular suffixes 8 N-A pairs Nouns with changing stems and regular suffixes 8 N-A pairs Nouns with changing stems and irregular suffixes

20 20 Noun plurals in development: Accuracy The role of suffix regularity and stem change

21 21 Accuracy on noun plurals Gradeschool children from two SES Low SES High SES

22 22 Accuracy on noun plurals Gradeschool children from two SES The same factors in the same order affect acquisition However low SES children achieve lower scores, the difference between noun categories is larger, and the learning curve is slower Indicating problems in lexical representation and organization The same factors in the same order affect acquisition However low SES children achieve lower scores, the difference between noun categories is larger, and the learning curve is slower Indicating problems in lexical representation and organization

23 23 Problem #3: Plural adjective agreement pilim levan-? elephants white pilim levan-? elephants white

24 24 Problem #3: Plural adjective agreement pilim levanim elephants white,Pl pilim levanim elephants white,Pl

25 25 Problem #3: Plural adjective agreement pilot levan-? elephants,Fm white pilot levan-? elephants,Fm white

26 26 Problem #3: Plural adjective agreement pilot levanot elephants,Fm white,Pl,Fm pilot levanot elephants,Fm white,Pl,Fm

27 27 Plural adjective agreement However, when noun suffix is irregular, there is a clash between surface noun phonology and inherent noun gender However, when noun suffix is irregular, there is a clash between surface noun phonology and inherent noun gender

28 28 Problem: Adjective agreement with irregular plural noun suffixes kir lavan white,Masc wall,Masc kirot levan … ??? walls white kir lavan white,Masc wall,Masc kirot levan … ??? walls white

29 29 Agreement with irregular noun plurals Phonology or inherent gender? 1.Follow plural noun phonology kirot levanot walls white,Pl,Fm This is wrong! 1.Follow plural noun phonology kirot levanot walls white,Pl,Fm This is wrong!

30 30 Agreement with irregular noun plurals Phonology or inherent gender? 2. Follow singular noun gender kir lavan white, Masc wall, Masc kirot levanim walls white,Pl Online processing abilities 2. Follow singular noun gender kir lavan white, Masc wall, Masc kirot levanim walls white,Pl Online processing abilities

31 31 Agreement with irregular noun plurals Phonology or inherent gender? 1.Follow plural noun phonology beytsim levanim eggs white,Pl This is wrong! 1.Follow plural noun phonology beytsim levanim eggs white,Pl This is wrong!

32 32 Agreement with irregular noun plurals Phonology or inherent gender? 2. Follow singular noun gender beytsa levana white, Fm egg, Fm beyts im levanot eggs white,Pl,Fm Online processing abilities 2. Follow singular noun gender beytsa levana white, Fm egg, Fm beyts im levanot eggs white,Pl,Fm Online processing abilities

33 33 Problem #3: Plural adjective suffix as a function of suffix regularity and stem change Clash between phonology and grammar will result in less accuracy and increased reaction time in producing plural adjective agreement Especially in combination with changing stems Most for younger children, and children from low SES Clash between phonology and grammar will result in less accuracy and increased reaction time in producing plural adjective agreement Especially in combination with changing stems Most for younger children, and children from low SES

34 34 Accuracy on plural adjective agreement The role of noun suffix regularity and stem change

35 35 Accuracy on plural adjective agreement Gradeschool children from two SES Low SES High SES

36 36 Accuracy on plural adjective agreement Gradeschool children from two SES The same factors in the same order affect acquisition However low SES children achieve lower scores, the difference between categories of noun suffixes is larger No progress on learning to mark adjective agreement to plural nouns with irregular suffixes Problems with processing grammatical information? The same factors in the same order affect acquisition However low SES children achieve lower scores, the difference between categories of noun suffixes is larger No progress on learning to mark adjective agreement to plural nouns with irregular suffixes Problems with processing grammatical information?

37 37 Reaction time on forming a plural NP The role of noun suffix regularity and stem change

38 38 Gradeschool children from two SES RT on plural NP formation Low SESHigh SES

39 39 Conclusions: Adjectives Adjectives constitute a non-robust category in language acquisition and processing Inflecting adjectives to agree with plural nouns requires the ability to overcome clash between grammatical knowledge and phonological awareness Adjectives constitute a non-robust category in language acquisition and processing Inflecting adjectives to agree with plural nouns requires the ability to overcome clash between grammatical knowledge and phonological awareness

40 40 Conclusions: Development Noun plurals: Lexical and morphophonological knowledge –Suffix assignment –Stem change Adjective agreement: generalization, processing A long developmental route, though inflection Noun plurals: Lexical and morphophonological knowledge –Suffix assignment –Stem change Adjective agreement: generalization, processing A long developmental route, though inflection

41 41 Conclusions: SES Our results point to differences in language processing abilities between children from different SES

42 42 תוספות רק אם צריך

43 43 Accuracy on noun plurals Developmental pattern in K-adults mid-high SES

44 44 Accuracy on plural adjective agreement Developmental pattern in K-adults frommid-hi SES

45 45 Developmental pattern in K-adults RT on plural NP formation

46 46 Accuracy on noun plurals Gradeschool children,middle-hi SES

47 47 Accuracy on noun plurals Gradeschool children, low SES

48 48 Accuracy on plural adjective agreement Gradeschool children from middle-hi SES

49 49 Accuracy on plural adjective agreement Children from low SES

50 50 Gradeschool children from middle-hi SES RT on plural NP formation

51 51 Gradeschool children from low SES RT on plural NP formation

52 52 Gradeschool children from two SES RT on plural NP formation by suffix type

53 53 Gradeschool children from two SES RT on plural NP formation Mid-hi SES children: decrease in RT in all noun categories, with convergence in 5 th grade Low SES children –Very gradual or no decrease by G3, then no change – Changing stems with irregular suffixes – hardly any decrease Mid-hi SES children: decrease in RT in all noun categories, with convergence in 5 th grade Low SES children –Very gradual or no decrease by G3, then no change – Changing stems with irregular suffixes – hardly any decrease

54 54 Learning to inflect noun plurals Gradual increase in hi SES participants from K to adulthood – except for nonchanging stems with regular suffixes, which are at ceiling by K Order of difficulty: Nonchanging stems with regular suffixes > changing stems with regular suffixes > Nonchanging stems with irregular suffixes > changing stems with irregular suffixes Same pattern in both populations, but different pace of acquisition Gradual increase in hi SES participants from K to adulthood – except for nonchanging stems with regular suffixes, which are at ceiling by K Order of difficulty: Nonchanging stems with regular suffixes > changing stems with regular suffixes > Nonchanging stems with irregular suffixes > changing stems with irregular suffixes Same pattern in both populations, but different pace of acquisition

55 55 Learning to mark agreement on plural adjectives No difference between changing and nonchanging stems in adjectives agreeing with nouns with regular suffixes Better scores on nonchanging stems in in adjectives agreeing with nouns with irregular suffixes No apparent progress in children from low SES on adjectives agreeing with nouns with irregular suffixes No difference between changing and nonchanging stems in adjectives agreeing with nouns with regular suffixes Better scores on nonchanging stems in in adjectives agreeing with nouns with irregular suffixes No apparent progress in children from low SES on adjectives agreeing with nouns with irregular suffixes

56 56 RT on inflecting plural N-A phrases Hardest / longest: adjective agreement to plural nouns with changing stems and irregular suffixes Easiest / shortest: adjective agreement to plural nouns with nonchanging stems and regular suffixes Low SES children show a mixed picture with little or no decrease in RT Hardest / longest: adjective agreement to plural nouns with changing stems and irregular suffixes Easiest / shortest: adjective agreement to plural nouns with nonchanging stems and regular suffixes Low SES children show a mixed picture with little or no decrease in RT

57 57 Examples pil lavan white elephant pilim levanim white elephants pila levana white elephant, Fm pilot levanot white elephants,Fm pil lavan white elephant pilim levanim white elephants pila levana white elephant, Fm pilot levanot white elephants,Fm

58 58 Problem #3: Plural adjective suffix Adjectives follow inherent noun gender No problem when noun suffix is regular pilim levanim elephants white,Pl pilot levanot elephants,Fm white,Pl,Fm Adjectives follow inherent noun gender No problem when noun suffix is regular pilim levanim elephants white,Pl pilot levanot elephants,Fm white,Pl,Fm

59 59 Plural adjective agreement However, when noun suffix is irregular, there is a clash between noun phonology and noun gender However, when noun suffix is irregular, there is a clash between noun phonology and noun gender

60 60 Plural adjective agreement kir lavan white wall, masc kirot levanim walls, Masc white, Masc Once inflected, noun phonology says Feminine, noun gender says Masculine Problem: How to inflect adjective? kir lavan white wall, masc kirot levanim walls, Masc white, Masc Once inflected, noun phonology says Feminine, noun gender says Masculine Problem: How to inflect adjective?

61 61 Plural adjective agreement beytsa levana white egg, fm beytsim levanot eggs, Fm white, Fm When inflected, noun phonology says Masculine, noun gender says Feminine Problem: How to inflect adjective? beytsa levana white egg, fm beytsim levanot eggs, Fm white, Fm When inflected, noun phonology says Masculine, noun gender says Feminine Problem: How to inflect adjective?


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