Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive 

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51684

Stoll, S; Bickel, B; Lieven, E; Banjade, G; Bhatta, T N; Gaenszle, M; Paudyal, N P; Pettigrew, J; Rai, I P; Rai, M; Rai, N K (2012). Nouns and verbs in Chintang: children's usage and surrounding adult speech. Journal Of Child Language, 39(2):284-321.

Published Version


Analyzing the development of the noun-to-verb ratio in a longitudinal corpus of four Chintang (Sino-Tibetan) children, we find that up to about age four, children have a significantly higher ratio than adults. Previous cross-linguistic research rules out an explanation of this in terms of a universal noun bias; instead, a likely cause is that Chintang verb morphology is polysynthetic and difficult to learn. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the development of Chintang children's noun-to-verb ratio correlates significantly with the extent to which they show a similar flexibility with verbal morphology to that of the surrounding adults, as measured by morphological paradigm entropy. While this development levels off around age three, children continue to have a higher overall noun-to-verb ratio than adults. A likely explanation lies in the kinds of activities that children are engaged in and that are almost completely separate from adults' activities in this culture.

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Departement of Comparative Linguistics
DDC:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Date:22 March 2012
Deposited On:01 Mar 2012 13:06
Last Modified:16 Sep 2014 11:21
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Publisher DOI:10.1017/S0305000911000080
Related URLs:http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=JCL
Citations:Web of Science®. Times Cited: 4
Google Scholar™
Scopus®. Citation Count: 5

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page