Development of Verb Inflections in Children

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Development of verb inflections in children

Introduction.
Two of the ongoing questions in the field are: from what age do children acquire grammar? And how do they acquire it?
The verb plays a crucial role in grammar and verb inflection has, therefore, become one of the most popular subjects of study in child language research. Most work, however, has been done on aspect-tense inflection (Weist et al, 2004) and on correlations between semantic classes of verbs and inflection types (Witteck, 2002) or on word order properties of inflection types. As Daggmer-Bitner et al (2003) remark, there is still very little on early verb inflection emergence and paradigm construction. The following study endeavored to play a small part in contributing towards this field. Studies on the acquisition of language in children in general, and verb inflection in children in particular, indicate that children seem to have an easier time than adults in language development and that their acquisition of language is more error-free than is that of adults (Mayberry & Eichen 1991). Wexler (1998) also observes that children also acquire verbal placement and verbal inflection early and without errors even in the earliest observable stage of grammar acquisition which is around one year to 1 and half years.
There are three key models that explain with emergence of inflection in general. These are the dual-mechanism model, the connectionist model, and the net-work model.
Dual-mechanism model
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