Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In order to provide textbook authors with empirical data on the acquisition in Dutch of written morphology in nouns, verbs and adjectives, several empirical studies have been undertaken. In this article, the third study reports on the performance of the morpheme -e in a special case of adjectives in Dutch: the adjectives derived from participles. The study tries to determine the possible interference between the morphological rules for verb inflection (past tense) and adjective declension in reading and writing. Five classes of adjectives were distinguished according to order of relative difficulty established a priori. Subjects (n=157, grade 6, 7 and 8 from two schools) individually completed a compre-hension and a production task in which factors were systematically varied. Also a recognition test on the spelling of the past tense of verbs was administered.The results showed an effect of categories of verbal adjectives in the production task, but only for groups 7 and 8; group 6 was not sensitive to the differences between the categories. In the recognition task, no effect of type of adjective (verbal or normal) was found for groups 7 and 8; but for group 6, performance on verbal adjectives was lower for the three most difficult categories of adjectives. In the production task, all three groups performed lower on verbal adjectives than normal adjectives in the two most difficult categories of adjectives.It turned out that groups which acquired spelling rules for the past tense of verbs to a higher level, made more errors in the spelling of verbal adjectives, especially in the two categories of adjectives which related the strongest to the spelling of verbs. It was concluded that indications were found that negative transfer or interference is present. Authors recommend changing the order of phases in which spelling rules are trained: from 'adjective declension-verb inflection (past tense)-verbal adjective declension' to 'adjective declension (including verbal adjective declension)-verb declension (past tense).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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