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Inhibitory Control and Preschoolers’ Use of Irregular Past Tense Verbs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2020

Amanda Rose YUILE*
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Queen's University, Canada
*Address for correspondence: Amanda Rose Yuile, E-mail:


We investigated whether children's inhibitory control (IC) is associated with their ability to produce irregular past tense verb forms as well as learn from corrective feedback following overregularization errors. Forty-eight 3;6 to 4;5 year old children were tested on the irregular past tense and provided with adult corrective input via models of correct use or recasts of errors following ungrammatical responses. IC was assessed with a three-item battery of tasks that required suppressing a prepotent response in favor of a non-canonical one. Results showed that IC was associated with children's initial production of irregular forms, but not associated with their post-feedback production. Findings are discussed in terms of current theories of past tense use and acquisition.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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