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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The acquisition of morphology is one of the major challenges in first language acquisition and the tasks children encounter vary to an extreme degree across different languages. The acquisition of morphological markers is presented from a cross-linguistic perspective with special focus on those characteristics of morphology which are relevant for acquisition. The chapter aims to give an overview of studies illuminating exactly this variation in a wide variety of typologically different languages. Special emphasis is placed on the interplay of individual grammars and learning strategies and on the question of whether morphological learning is better explained by the application of rules or rather by a step-by-step process of learning individual constructions, which are then generalized to more abstract schemas. A major challenge in acquisition studies is the question of how to determine productivity. The chapter presents some recent proposals in this domain, based on research on longitudinal corpora.

Keywords: Cross-linguistic comparisons, language acquisition, learning mechanisms, productivity, acquisition of nominal categories, verbal categories, complex morphologies, rule-based learning, item-based learning

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