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Learning a novel pattern through balanced and skewed input*



This study compared the effectiveness of balanced and skewed input at facilitating the acquisition of the transitive construction in Esperanto, characterized by the accusative suffix -n and variable word order (SVO, OVS). Thai university students (N = 98) listened to 24 sentences under skewed (one noun with high token frequency) or balanced (equally-low token frequency) presentation following either inductive (rule not given) or deductive (rule given) instructions. In the testing phase, they heard 20 sentences (10 SVO, 10 OVS) with new nouns and identified the object. Only the group that received balanced input and deductive instructions detected the novel pattern.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Kim McDonough, Department of Education, Concordia University (LB-579), 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montréal, Québec, CanadaH3G


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This study was supported by a standard research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We are grateful to Amélie Bissonnette and Teresa Hernández-González for their help with creating study materials and to Adele Goldberg and anonymous BLC reviewers for their helpful input and feedback on the content of this manuscript.



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Learning a novel pattern through balanced and skewed input*



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