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Full Access Phonological Constraints on Morphological Development: The Acquisition of Hebrew Verb Inflectional Suffixes

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Phonological Constraints on Morphological Development: The Acquisition of Hebrew Verb Inflectional Suffixes

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This paper studies the effect of phonological development on the acquisition of Hebrew verb inflectional suffixes, comparing between two monolingual typically developing children (SR and RM). Examination of the order at which the suffixes appeared in the children’s speech reveals one distinction; SR produced the number (plural) suffix -im before the person (1st singular) suffix -ti, while RM produced these suffixes in the opposite order. All other suffixes were produced in the same order. As these suffixes differ in the presence vs. absence of a coda, I attribute the distinction between the children to the development of word final codas, which was faster in SR’s speech than in RM’s. This interaction between phonology and morphology is known as prosodic licensing, whereby the prosodic structure hosting a grammatical morpheme is a prerequisite for the production of this morpheme.


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