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Morphological knowledge without morphological structure

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Abstract

During the one-word stage, Hebrew-speaking children have only one form for each verb paradigm, and this is usually the free stem. Crucially, the children tend not to produce verbs with inflectional suffixes, although their prosodic phonology allows them to do so. We argue that this phenomenon reflects the childrens capacity to distinguish between stems and suffixes (by identifying the stem) before they start producing the morphological paradigm. That is, some morphological knowledge appears before this knowledge has a direct surface manifestation in the childrens speech.

References

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