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Do You Use Love to Make it Lovely? The Role of Meaning Overlap across Morphological Relatives in the Development of Morphological Representations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2022

Pauline QUEMART*
Affiliation:
Université de Poitiers, Université de Tours, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France Nantes Université, Univ Angers, Laboratoire de psychologie des Pays de la Loire, LPPL, UR 4638, F-44000 Nantes, France
Julie A. WOLTER
Affiliation:
School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, United States of America
Xi CHEN
Affiliation:
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
S. Hélène DEACON
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
*
*Corresponding author. Pauline Quemart Nantes Université, Univ Angers, Laboratoire de psychologie des Pays de la Loire, LPPL, UR 4638, F-44000 Nantes, France. E-mail: pauline.quemart@univ-nantes.fr

Abstract

We examined whether and how the degree of meaning overlap between morphologically related words influences sentence plausibility judgment in children. In two separate studies with kindergarten and second-graders, English-speaking and French-speaking children judged the plausibility of sentences that included two paired target words. Some of these word pairs were morphologically related, across three conditions with differing levels of meaning overlap: low (wait-waiter), moderate (fold-folder) and high (farm-farmer). In another two conditions, word pairs were related only by phonology (rock-rocket) or semantics (car-automobile). Children in both ages and languages demonstrated higher plausibility scores as meaning overlap increased between morphologically related words. Further, kindergarten children rated sentences that included word pairs with phonological overlap as more plausible than second-grade children, while second-grade children rated those with high meaning overlap as more plausible than kindergarten children. We interpret these findings in light of current models of morphological development.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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