• ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In order to provide authors of text books with empirical data on the acquisition in Dutch of written morphology in nouns, verbs and adjectives, several empirical studies were undertaken. In this article, the second study is reported on the performance of the morpheme -en in a special case of adjectives in Dutch: material adjectives such as 'gouden' (gold). The study tried to determine factors which affect the performance in reading and writing. Factors involved were two interference factors (plural in adjacent nouns; normal adjectives), cognitive task (comprehension versus writing) and two syntactic factors (grammatical function and position in the sentence of the constituent. Subjects (n=80, grades 6 and 7, from four schools) individually completed a comprehension and a production task in which factors were systematically varied. No effects of cognitive task were observed. Therefore only results for the production task were reported in detail. It turned out that material adjectives were more difficult than normal adjectives, and that within the category of material adjectives two subcategories should be distinguished, the easier one in which the morpheme is preceded by a stressed syllable as in 'gouden', and the more difficult one in which this is not the case, as in 'zilveren'. Of the two syntactic factors, only the grammatical function seems to affect the performance: adjectives in constituents with subject function were more difficult than adjectives with other grammatical functions; interactions between group and category of adjectives were found. Of the two interference factors, both factors seemed to affect performance.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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