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Children's Command of Four Inflectional Constructions in Arabic: Differences and Development With Age.

Authors
  • Asadi, Ibrahim A1
  • Asli-Badarneh, Abeer2
  • Elhija, Duaa Abu3
  • Mansour-Adwan, Jasmeen4
  • 1 Department of Learning Disabilities and Special Education, The Academic Arab College for Education, Haifa, Israel. , (Israel)
  • 2 Department of Early Childhood, The Academic Arab College for Education, Haifa, Israel. , (Israel)
  • 3 Al-Qasemi Academic College, Baqa al-Gharbiya, Israel. , (Israel)
  • 4 The Unit for the Study of Arabic Language, Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, University of Haifa, Israel. , (Israel)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
Publication Date
Dec 11, 2023
Volume
66
Issue
12
Pages
4984–4995
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1044/2023_JSLHR-23-00153
PMID: 37934887
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study examines whether differences in acquisition exist among the inflectional constructions of number, gender, possessive pronouns, and tense. Moreover, the study investigates whether these inflectional patterns develop with age. The participants were 1,020 Arabic-speaking kindergartners from K2 and K3. Children were assessed in morphological tasks, which targeted four different morphological inflectional constructions both in real words and pseudowords: gender, number-plural, possessive pronouns, and tense. Findings reveal the differences between all inflectional constructions. In other words, children demonstrated higher performance in gender construction, followed by construction of numbers and possessive pronouns, while the lowest performance is shown among tense construction. In addition, the results indicate that all inflectional constructions develop with age, that is, there was higher performance in K3 than in K2 in all inflection constructions. This study contributes to our knowledge about early language development by showing that the acquisition of gender and number-plurals is faster and more advanced than the acquisition of possessive pronouns or tense. The implications of these results are discussed, especially the need to develop children's inflectional forms such as possessive pronouns and tense, which may eventually also impact narrative understanding and production.

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