Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 9
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Ambridge, Ben and Lieven, Elena 2015. The Handbook of Language Emergence.

    Bermel, Neil 2015. Corpora and quantitative data in Slavic languages. Russian Linguistics, Vol. 39, Issue. 3, p. 275.

    LIEVEN, ELENA 2014. First language development: a usage-based perspective on past and current research. Journal of Child Language, Vol. 41, Issue. S1, p. 48.

    Krajewski, Grzegorz Lieven, Elena V. M. and Theakston, Anna L. 2012. Productivity of a Polish child’s inflectional noun morphology: a naturalistic study. Morphology, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 9.

    Krajewski, Grzegorz Theakston, Anna L. Lieven, Elena V. M. and Tomasello, Michael 2011. How Polish children switch from one case to another when using novel nouns: Challenges for models of inflectional morphology. Language and Cognitive Processes, Vol. 26, Issue. 4-6, p. 830.

    Lieven, Elena 2009. Developing constructions. Cognitive Linguistics, Vol. 20, Issue. 1,

    Dąbrowska, Ewa 2008. The later development of an early-emerging system: the curious case of the Polish genitive. Linguistics, Vol. 46, Issue. 3,

    Carr, Philip 2007. Internalism, externalism and coding. Language Sciences, Vol. 29, Issue. 5, p. 672.

    Dąbrowska, Ewa 2006. Low-level schemas or general rules? The role of diminutives in the acquisition of Polish case inflections. Language Sciences, Vol. 28, Issue. 1, p. 120.


Productivity and beyond: mastering the Polish genitive inflection

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 February 2005

This study charts the development of the genitive masculine inflection, one of the most irregular parts of the Polish case-marking system. 72 Polish children aged from 2;3 to 10;8 participated in a nonce word production experiment testing their ability to supply the genitive form and their sensitivity to the semantic factors determining the choice of ending. Results indicate that productivity, or the ability to supply the inflected form of some nonce words, emerges early: 78% of the two-year-olds were able to inflect at least one test item. However, mastery, or the ability to consistently supply the correct ending, takes considerably longer to develop, and adultlike levels of provision are not reached until about age 10;0.

Corresponding author
Dr Ewa Dąbrowska, Department of English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. e-mail:
Hide All
This study was supported by British Academy grant RB 100556; much of the research was conducted while the author was visiting the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. I would like to thank Ewa Borek, Mariola Busławska, Małgorzata Ciołek, Ewa Czerlińska, Celina Kośmider, Małgorzata Michalak, and Bożena Pławska for their help in collecting the data; Barbara Dąbrowska for organizational support throughout the duration of the project; and Marcin Szczerbiński, Tore Nesset and two anonymous JCL referees for their comments on an earlier draft of the paper. A very special and warm thanks goes to the children and young people from Żłobek nr 1, Przedszkole nr 81 and Szkoła Podstawowa nr 70 in Gdańsk who participated in the experiment. Part of the material discussed here was presented at the International Association for the Study of Child Language Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin in July 2002.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *