Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition*

  • BEN AMBRIDGE (a1), EVAN KIDD (a2), CAROLINE F. ROWLAND (a1) and ANNA L. THEAKSTON (a3)
Abstract

This review article presents evidence for the claim that frequency effects are pervasive in children's first language acquisition, and hence constitute a phenomenon that any successful account must explain. The article is organized around four key domains of research: children's acquisition of single words, inflectional morphology, simple syntactic constructions, and more advanced constructions. In presenting this evidence, we develop five theses. (i) There exist different types of frequency effect, from effects at the level of concrete lexical strings to effects at the level of abstract cues to thematic-role assignment, as well as effects of both token and type, and absolute and relative, frequency. High-frequency forms are (ii) early acquired and (iii) prevent errors in contexts where they are the target, but also (iv) cause errors in contexts in which a competing lower-frequency form is the target. (v) Frequency effects interact with other factors (e.g. serial position, utterance length), and the patterning of these interactions is generally informative with regard to the nature of the learning mechanism. We conclude by arguing that any successful account of language acquisition, from whatever theoretical standpoint, must be frequency sensitive to the extent that it can explain the effects documented in this review, and outline some types of account that do and do not meet this criterion.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition*
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition*
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition*
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Ben Ambridge, Department of Psychological Sciences, Institute of Psychology Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Bedford St South, Liverpool, L69 7ZA. Email: Ben.Ambridge@Liverpool.ac.uk
Footnotes
Hide All
[*]

The order of authorship is alphabetical.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Abbot-Smith, K. & Behrens, H. (2006). How do known constructions influence the acquisition of other constructions? The German passive and future constructions. Cognitive Science 30, 9951026.
Abbot-Smith, K., Lieven, E. & Tomasello, M. (2001). What preschool children do and do not do with ungrammatical word orders. Cognitive Development 16, 679–92.
Aguado-Orea, J. (2004). The acquisition of morpho-syntax in Spanish: implications for current theories of development. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
Akhtar, N. (1999). Acquiring basic word order: evidence for data-driven learning of syntactic structure. Journal of Child Language 26, 339–56.
Allen, S. E. & Crago, M. B. (1996). Early passive acquisition in Inuktitut. Journal of Child Language 23, 129–56.
Ambridge, B. (2010). Review of Frequency effects in language acquisition: defining the limits of frequency as an explanatory concept, by Gülzow, I. & Gagarina, N. (eds). Journal of Child Language, 37, 453–60.
Ambridge, B. & Lieven, E. V. M. (2014). A constructivist account of child language acquisition. In MacWhinney, B. & O'Grady, W. (eds), The handbook of language emergence. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M. & Rowland, C. F. (2012). Semantics versus statistics in the retreat from locative overgeneralization errors. Cognition 123, 260–79.
Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F. & Chang, F. (2012). The roles of verb semantics, entrenchment and morphophonology in the retreat from dative argument structure overgeneralization errors. Language 88, 4581.
Ambridge, B. & Rowland, C. F. (2009). Predicting children's errors with negative questions: testing a schema-combination account. Cognitive Linguistics 20, 225–66.
Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L. & Tomasello, M. (2006). Comparing different accounts of inversion errors in children's non-subject wh-questions: ‘What experimental data can tell us?Journal of Child Language 33, 519–57.
Arnon, I. (2010). Re-thinking child difficulty: the effect of NP-type on children's processing of relative clauses in Hebrew. Journal of Child Language 37, 2757.
Arnon, I. & Clark, E. V. (2011). Why ‘brush your teeth’ is better than ‘teeth’: children's word production is facilitated in familiar sentence-frames. Language Learning and Development 7, 107–29.
Arnon, I. & Snider, N. (2010). More than words: frequency effects for multi-word phrases. Journal of Memory and Language 62, 6782.
Baayen, R. & Lieber, R. (1991). Productivity and English derivation: a corpus-based study. Linguistics 29, 801–43.
Balota, D. A., Cortese, M. J., Sergent-Marshall, S. D., Spieler, D. H. & Yap, M. J. (2004). Visual word recognition of single-syllable words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 133, 283316.
Balota, D. A., Pilotti, M. & Cortese, M. J. (2001). Subjective frequency estimates for 2,938 monosyllabic words. Memory & Cognition 29, 639–47.
Bannard, C. & Matthews, D. (2008). Stored word sequences in language learning: the effect of familiarity on children's repetition of four-word combinations. Psychological Science 19, 241–8.
Barðdal, J. (2008). Productivity: evidence from case and argument structure in Icelandic. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Bates, E. & MacWhinney, B. (1982). Functionalist approaches to grammar. In Wanner, E. & Gleitman, L. (eds), Language acquisition: the state of the art, 173218. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Berman, R. (1985). The acquisition of Hebrew. In Slobin, D. I. (ed.), The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition, Vol. 1, 255371. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.
Berz, W. L. (1995). Working memory in music: a theoretical model. Music Perception 12, 353–64.
Bever, T. G. (1970). The cognitive basis for linguistic structure. In Hayes, J. R. (ed.), Cognition and the development of language, 279362. New York: Wiley.
Bird, H., Franklin, S. & Howard, D. (2001). Age of acquisition and imageability ratings for a large set of words, including verbs and function words. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers 33, 73–9.
Blackwell, A. A. (2005). Acquiring the English adjective lexicon: relationships with input properties and adjectival semantic typology. Journal of Child Language 32, 535–62.
Bloom, L., Merkin, S. & Wootten, J. (1982). Wh-questions: linguistic factors that contribute to the sequence of acquisition. Child Development 53, 1084–92.
Bock, J. K. (1986). Syntactic persistence in language production. Cognitive Psychology 18, 355–87.
Bohnacker, U. (2007). The role of input frequency in article acquisition in early child Swedish. In Gülzow, I. & Gagarina, N. (eds), Frequency effects in language acquisition: defining the limits of frequency as an explanatory concept, 5182. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Bowerman, M. & Choi, S. (2001). Shaping meanings for language: universal and language-specific in the acquisition of spatial semantic categories. In Bowerman, Melissa & Levinson, Stephen C. (eds), Language acquisition and conceptual development, 475511. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brandt, S., Kidd, E., Lieven, E. & Tomasello, M. (2009). The discourse bases of relativization: an investigation of young German- and English-speaking children's comprehension of relative clauses. Cognitive Linguistics 20, 539–70.
Brent, M. R. & Siskind, J. M. (2001). The role of exposure to isolated words in early vocabulary development. Cognition 81, B3344.
Brown, R. (1973). A first language: the early stages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Brysbaert, M. & New, B. (2009). Moving beyond Kučera and Francis: a critical evaluation of current word frequency norms and the introduction of a new and improved word frequency measure for American English. Behavior Research Methods 41, 977–90.
Bybee, J. L (1995). Regular morphology and the lexicon. Language and Cognitive Processes 10, 425–55.
Bybee, J. L. (2010). Language, usage and cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bybee, J. L. & Moder, C. L. (1983). Morphological classes as natural categories. Language 59, 251–70.
Bybee, J. L. & Slobin, D. I. (1982). Rules and schemas in the development and use of the English past tense. Language 58, 265–89.
Cameron-Faulkner, T. & Kidd, E. (2007). I'm are what I'm are: the acquisition of first-person singular present BE. Cognitive Linguistics 18, 122.
Cameron-Faulkner, T., Lieven, E. & Theakston, A. (2007). What part of no do children not understand? A usage-based account of multiword negation. Journal of Child Language 34, 251–82.
Candan, A., Küntay, A. C., Yeh, Y. C., Cheung, H., Wagner, L. & Naigles, L. R. (2012). Language and age effects in children's processing of word order. Cognitive Development 27(3), 205221.
Casenhiser, D. & Goldberg, A. E. (2005). Fast mapping between a phrasal form and meaning. Developmental Science 8(6), 500–8.
Chan, A., Lieven, E. & Tomasello, M. (2009). Children's understanding of the agent–patient relations in the transitive construction: cross-linguistic comparisons between Cantonese, German, and English. Cognitive Linguistics 20, 267300.
Chan, A., Matthews, S. & Yip, V. (2011). The acquisition of relative clauses in Cantonese and Mandarin. In Kidd, E. (ed.), The acquisition of relative clauses: processing, typology, and function, 197225. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Chang, F. (2009). Learning to order words: a connectionist model of heavy NP shift and accessibility effects in Japanese and English. Journal of Memory and Language 61, 374–97.
Chang, F., Dell, G. S. & Bock, K. (2006). Becoming syntactic. Psychological Review 113, 234–72.
Chemla, E., Mintz, T. H., Bernal, S. & Christophe, A. (2009). Categorizing words using ‘frequent frames’: what cross-linguistic analyses reveal about distributional acquisition strategies. Developmental Science 12, 396406.
Chen, J. & Shirai, Y. (2014). The acquisition of relative clauses in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Child Language online: <doi:10.1017/S0305000914000300>.
Christophe, A. & Dupoux, E. (1996). Bootstrapping lexical acquisition: the role of prosodic structure. Linguistic Review 13, 383412.
Clancy, P. (1989). Form and function in the acquisition of Korean wh-questions. Journal of Child Language 16, 323–47.
Conklin, K. & Schmitt, N. (2012). The processing of formulaic language. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 32, 4561.
Dabrowska, E. (2008). The later development of an early-emerging system: the curious case of the Polish genitive. Linguistics 46, 629–50.
Dąbrowska, E. & Lieven, E. (2005). Towards a lexically specific grammar of children's question constructions. Cognitive Linguistics 16, 437–74.
Dabrowska, E. & Szczerbinski, M. (2006). Polish children's productivity with case marking: the role of regularity, type frequency, and phonological diversity. Journal of Child Language 33, 559–97.
De Villiers, J. G. (1985). Learning how to use verbs: lexical coding and the influence of the input. Journal of Child Language 12, 587–95.
De Villiers, J. G. (1991). Why questions? In Maxwell, T. & Plunkett, B. (eds), Papers in the acquisition of ‘wh’, 155–71. Amhurst, MA: University of Massachusetts.
Dell, G. S. (1990). Effects of frequency and vocabulary type on phonological speech errors. Language and Cognitive Processes 4, 313–49.
Demuth, K. (1989). Maturation and the acquisition of Sesotho passive. Language 65, 5680.
Demuth, K., Moloi, F. & Machobane, M. (2010). Three year-olds’ comprehension, production and generalization of the Sesotho passives. Cognition 115, 238–51.
DePaolis, R. A., Vihman, M. M. & Keren-Portnoy, T. (2011). Do production patterns influence the processing of speech in prelinguistic infants? Infant Behavior and Development 34, 590601.
Diessel, H. (2004). The acquisition of complex sentences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Diessel, H. (2009). On the role of frequency and similarity in the acquisition of subject and non-subject relative clauses. In Givón, T. & Shibatani, M. (eds), Syntactic complexity: diachrony, acquisition, neurocognition, evolution, 251–76. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Diessel, H. & Tomasello, M. (2000). The development of relative clauses in spontaneous child speech. Cognitive Linguistics 11, 131–51.
Dittmar, M., Abbot-Smith, K., Lieven, E. & Tomasello, M. (2008). German children's comprehension of word order and case marking in causative sentences. Child Development 79, 1152–67.
Du Bois, J. W. (1987) The discourse basis of ergativity. Language 63, 805–55.
Ebbinghaus, H. (1913 [1885]). Memory: a contribution to experimental psychology. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.
Eckerth, J. & Tavakoli, P. (2012). The effects of word exposure frequency and elaboration of word processing on incidental L2 vocabulary acquisition through reading. Language Teaching Research 16, 227–52.
Ellis, N. C. (2002). Frequency effects in language processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 24, 143–88.
Erkelens, M. A. (2009). Learning to categorize verbs and nouns: studies on Dutch. Utrecht: LOT Dissertations.
Fenson, L., Dale, P., Resnick, S., Bates, E., Thal, D., Hartung, J. & Reilly, J. (1994). Variability in early communication development. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 59.
Fitz, H., Chang, F. & Christiansen, M. H. (2011). A connectionist account of the acquisition and processing of relative clauses. In Kidd, E. (ed.), The acquisition of relative clauses, 3960. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Fletcher, P. (1985). A child's learning of English. Oxford: Blackwell.
Forner, M. (1979). The mother as LAD: interaction between order and frequency of parental input and child production. In Eckman, F. R. & Hastings, A. J. (eds), Studies in first and second language acquisition, 1744. Rowley, MA: Newbury.
Forrester, N. & Plunkett, K. (1994). Learning the Arabic plural: the case of minority default mappings in connectionist networks. In Ramand, A. & Eiselt, K. (eds), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 319–23. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Forster, K. (1976). Accessing the mental lexicon. In Wales, R. J. & Walker, E. (eds), New approaches to language mechanisms, 257–87. Amsterdam: North Holland.
Fox, B. & Thompson, S. (1990). A discourse explanation of the grammar of relative clauses in English conversation. Language 66, 856–70.
Fox, B. & Thompson, S. (2007). Relative clauses in English conversation: relativizers, frequency, and the notion of construction. Studies in Language 31, 293326.
Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., Aguado-Orea, J. & Gobet, F. (2007). Modeling the developmental patterning of finiteness marking in English, Dutch, German, and Spanish using MOSAIC. Cognitive Science 31, 311–41.
Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M. & Gobet, F. (2010). Explaining quantitative variation in the rate of Optional Infinitive errors across languages: a comparison of MOSAIC and the Variational Learning Model. Journal of Child Language 37, 643–69.
Gagarina, N. (2007). What happens when adults often use infinitives. In Gülzow, I. & Gagarina, N. (eds), Frequency effects in language acquisition: defining the limits of frequency as an explanatory concept, 205–36. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Gentner, D. (1982). Why nouns are learned before verbs: linguistic relativity versus natural partitioning. In Kuczaj, S. A. (ed.), Language development, vol. 2: language, thought, and culture, 301–34. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Gibson, E. (1998). Linguistic complexity: locality of syntactic dependencies. Cognition 68, 176.
Gil, D. (2006) The acquisition of voice morphology in Jakarta Indonesian. In Gagarina, N. & Gülzow, I. (eds), The acquisition of verbs and their grammar: the effect of particular languages, 201–27. Dordrecht: Springer.
Gleitman, L. & Wanner, E. (1984). Current issues in language learning. In Bornstein, M. & Lamb, M. (eds), Perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic development, Vol. 2 of Developmental psychology: an advanced textbook, 297356. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Göksun, T., Küntay, A. C. & Naigles, L. R. (2008). Turkish children use morphosyntactic bootstrapping in interpreting verb meaning. Journal of Child Language 35, 291323.
Goldberg, A. E. (2004). But do we need universal grammar? Comment on Lidz et al. (2003). Cognition 94, 7784.
Goldberg, A. E., Casenhiser, D. & Sethuraman, N (2004). Learning argument structure generalizations. Cognitive Linguistics 14, 289316.
Goldberg, A. E., Casenhiser, D. & White, T. (2007). Constructions as categories of language. New Ideas in Psychology 25, 7086.
Goodman, J. C., Dale, P. S. & Li, P. (2008). Does frequency count? Parental input and the acquisition of vocabulary. Journal of Child Language 35, 515–31.
Gordon, J. K. & Dell, G. S. (2003). Learning to divide the labor: an account of deficits in light and heavy verb production. Cognitive Science 27, 140.
Gordon, P. & Chafetz, J. (1991). Verb-based vs. class-based accounts of actionality effects in children's comprehension of the passive. Cognition 36, 227–54.
Grammer, K. & Thornhill, R. (1994). Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness and sexual selection: the role of symmetry and averageness. Journal of Comparative Psychology 108, 233–242.
Hare, M., Elman, J. L. & Daughtery, K. G. (1995). Default generalisation in connectionist networks. Language and Cognitive Processes 10, 601–30.
Howes, D. (1957). On the relation between the intelligibility and frequency of occurrence of English words. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 29, 296305.
Hsu, C. C. N., Hermon, G. & Zukowski, A. (2009). Young children's production of head-final relative clauses: elicited production data from Chinese children. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 18, 323–60.
Hulme, C., Roodenrys, S., Schweickert, R., Brown, G. D., Martin, S. & Stuart, G. (1997). Word-frequency effects on short-term memory tasks: evidence for a redintegration process in immediate serial recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 23, 1217–32.
Huttenlocher, J., Vasilyeva, M. & Shimpi, P. (2004). Syntactic priming in young children. Journal of Memory and Language 50, 182–95.
Ibbotson, P., Theakston, A., Lieven, E. & Tomasello, M. (2011). The role of pronoun frames in early comprehension of transitive constructions in English. Language Learning and Development 7, 2439.
Israel, M., Johnson, C. & Brooks, P. J. (2000). From states to events: the acquisition of English passive participles. Cognitive Linguistics 11, 103–29.
Janda, R. D. (1990). Frequency, markedness and morphological change: on predicting the spread of noun-plural -s in Modern High German and West Germanic. Proceedings of the Eastern States Conference on Linguistics (ESCOL) 7, 136–53.
Jescheniak, J. D. & Levelt, W. J. M. (1994). Word frequency effects in speech production: retrieval of syntactic information and of phonological form. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 20, 824–43.
Joe, A. (2010). The quality and frequency of encounters with vocabulary in an English for Academic Purposes programme. Reading in a Foreign Language 22, 117–38.
Kidd, E. (ed.) (2011). The acquisition of relative clauses: processing, typology, and function. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Kidd, E. (2012). Individual differences in syntactic priming in language acquisition. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33, 393418.
Kidd, E. & Bavin, E. L. (2002). English-speaking children's comprehension of relative clauses: evidence for general-cognitive and language-specific constraints on development. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 31, 599617.
Kidd, E., Brandt, S., Lieven, E. & Tomasello, M. (2007). Object relatives made easy: a crosslinguistic comparison of the constraints influencing young children's processing of relative clauses. Language and Cognitive Processes 22, 860–97.
Kirjavainen, M., Nikolaev, A. & Kidd, E. (2012). The effect of frequency and phonological neighbourhood density on the acquisition of past tense verbs by Finnish children. Cognitive Linguistics 23, 273315.
Kirjavainen, M., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2009). Can input explain children's me-for-I errors? Journal of Child Language 36, 1091–114.
Klima, E. & Bellugi, U. (1966). Syntactic regularities in the speech of children. In Lyons, J. & Wales, J. R. (eds), Psycholinguistic papers: the proceedings of the Edinburgh conference, 183208. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Kline, M. & Demuth, K. (2010). Factors facilitating implicit learning: the case of the Sesotho passive. Language Acquisition 17, 220–34.
Krajewski, G., Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M. & Tomasello, M. (2011). How Polish children switch from one case to another when using novel nouns: challenges for models of inflectional morphology. Language and Cognitive Processes 26, 830–61.
Kuczaj, S. (1976). -ing, -s, and -ed: a study on the acquisition of certain verb inflections. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Minnesota.
Küntay, A. & Slobin, D. I. (2002). Putting interaction back into child language: examples from Turkish. Psychology of Language and Communication 6, 514.
Lambrecht, K. (1988). ‘There was a farmer had a dog’: syntactic amalgams revisited. In Axmaker, S., Jaissen, A. & Singmaster, H. (eds), Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 319–39. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
Legate, J. A. & Yang, C. (2007). Morphosyntactic learning and the development of tense. Language Acquisition 14, 315–44.
Leonard, L. B., Caselli, M. C. & Devescovi, A. (2002). Italian children's use of verb and noun morphology during the preschool years. First Language 3, 287304.
Lidz, J., Gleitman, H. & Gleitman, L. (2003). Understanding how input matters: verb learning and the footprint of universal grammar. Cognition 87, 151–78.
Luce, P. A. (1986). A computational analysis of uniqueness points in auditory word recognition. Perception and Psychophysics 39, 155–8.
MacDonald, M. C. (1994). Probabilistic constraints and syntactic ambiguity resolution. Language and Cognitive Processes 9, 157201.
MacDonald, M. C. (1999). Distributional information in language comprehension, production, and acquisition: three puzzles and a moral. In MacWhinney, B. (ed.), The emergence of language, 177–96. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
MacDonald, M. C. & Christiansen, M. H. (2002). Reassessing working memory: comment on Just and Carpenter (1992) and Waters and Caplan (1996). Psychological Review 109, 3554.
MacWhinney, B. (2000). The CHILDES project: tools for analyzing talk, 3rd ed.Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
MacWhinney, B. (2004). A multiple process solution to the logical problem of language acquisition. Journal of Child Language 31(4), 883914.
Marchman, V. A. (1997). Children's productivity in the English past tense: the role of frequency, phonology, and neighborhood structure. Cognitive Science 21, 283303.
Marchman, V. A., Wulfeck, B. & Weismer, S. E. (1999). Morphological productivity in children with normal language and SLI: a study of the English past tense. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 42, 206–19.
Maslen, R. J. C., Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M. & Tomasello, M. (2004). A dense corpus study of past tense and plural overregularization in English. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 47, 1319–33.
Matsuo, A., Kita, S., Shinya, Y., Wood, G. C. & Naigles, L. (2012). Japanese two-year-olds use morphosyntax to learn novel verb meanings. Journal of Child Language 39(3), 637–63.
Matthews, D. & Bannard, C. (2010). Children's production of unfamiliar word sequences is predicted by positional variability and latent classes in a large sample of child-directed speech. Cognitive Science 34, 465–88.
Matthews, D., Lieven, E., Theakston, A. & Tomasello, M. (2005). The role of frequency in the acquisition of English word order. Cognitive Development 20, 121–36.
Matthews, D., Lieven, E., Theakston, A. & Tomasello, M. (2007). French children's use and correction of weird word orders: a constructivist account. Journal of Child Language 34, 381409.
Matthews, D. & Theakston, A. L. (2006). Errors of omission in English-speaking children's production of plurals and the past tense: the effects of frequency, phonology, and competition. Cognitive Science 30, 1027–52.
Mayberry, M. R., Crocker, M. W. & Knoeferle, P. (2009). Learning to attend: a connectionist model of situated language comprehension. Cognitive Science 33, 449–96.
McCauley, S. M. & Christiansen, M. H. (2014). Prospects for usage-based computational models of grammatical development: argument structure and semantics roles. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 5(4), 489499.
McGregor, K. K., Sheng, L. & Ball, T. (2007). Complexities of expressive word learning over time. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 38, 353–64.
Messenger, K., Branigan, H. P. & McLean, J. F. (2011). Evidence for (shared) abstract structure underlying children's short and full passives. Cognition 121, 268–74.
Mills, A. (1985). The acquisition of German. In Slobin, D. I. (ed.), The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition, Vol. 1, 141254. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Mintz, T. (2003). Frequent frames as a cue for grammatical categories in child directed speech. Cognition 90, 91117.
Moerk, E. L. (1980). Relationships between parental input frequencies and children's language acquisition: a reanalysis of Brown's data. Journal of Child Language 7, 105–18.
Moerk, E. L. (1981). To attend or not to attend to unwelcome reanalyses? A reply to Pinker. Journal of Child Language 8, 627–32.
Monaghan, P. & Christiansen, M. H. (2010). Words in puddles of sound: modelling psycholinguistic effects in speech segmentation. Journal of Child Language 37, 545–64.
Naigles, L. R. & Hoff-Ginsberg, E. (1998). Why are some verbs learned before other verbs? Effects of input frequency and structure on children's early verb use. Journal of Child Language 25, 95120.
Newmeyer, F. J. (2003). Grammar is grammar and usage is usage. Language 79, 682707.
Newport, E. L., Gleitman, H. & Gleitman, L. A. (1977). ‘Mother, I'd rather do it myself’: some effects and non-effects of maternal speech style. In Snow, C. & Ferguson, C. (eds), Talking to children: language input and acquisition, 109–49. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nicoladis, E., Palmer, A. & Marentette, P. (2007). The role of type and token frequency in using past tense morphemes correctly. Developmental Science 10, 237–54.
Ninio, A. (1999). Pathbreaking verbs in syntactic development and the question of prototypical transitivity. Journal of Child Language 26, 619–53.
Ninio, A. (2006). Language and the learning curve: a new theory of syntactic development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Okubo, A. (1967). Yooji gengo no hattatsu [Children's language development]. Tokyo: Tokyodoo.
Pickering, M. J. & Ferreira, V. S. (2008). Structural priming: a critical review. Psychological Bulletin 134, 427–59.
Pinker, S. (1981). On the acquisition of grammatical morphemes. Journal of Child Language 8, 477–84.
Pinker, S., Lebeaux, D. & Frost, L. A. (1987). Productivity and constraints in the acquisition of the passive. Cognition 26, 195267.
Plunkett, K. & Nakisa, R. C. (1997). A connectionist model of the Arabic plural system. Language and Cognitive Processes 12, 807–36.
Pye, C. & Quixtan Poz, P. (1988). Precocious passives (and antipassives) in Quiché Mayan. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development 27, 7180.
Ramscar, M., Dye, M. & McCauley, S. (2013). Error and expectation in language learning: the curious absence of ‘mouses’ in adult speech. Language 89, 760–93.
Räsänen, S. H. M., Ambridge, B. & Pine, J. M. (2014) Infinitives or bare stems? Are English-speaking children defaulting to the highest-frequency form? Journal of Child Language 41(4), 756–79.
Reali, F. & Christiansen, M. H. (2005). Uncovering the richness of the stimulus: structure dependence and indirect statistical evidence. Cognitive Science 29, 1007–28.
Rescorla, R. A. & Wagner, A. R. (1972). A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and nonreinforcement. In Black, A. H. & Prokasy, W. F. (eds), Classical conditioning II: current research and theory, 6499. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Rice, M. L., Oetting, J. B., Marquis, J., Bode, J. & Pae, S. Y. (1994). Frequency of input effects on word comprehension of children with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 37, 106–22.
Roeper, T. (2007). What frequency can do and what it can't. In Gülzow, I. & Gagarina, N. (eds), Frequency effects in language acquisition: defining the limits of frequency as an explanatory concept, 2350. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Roland, D., Dick, F. & Elman, J. (2007). Frequency of basic English grammatical structures: a corpus analysis. Journal of Memory and Language 57, 348–79.
Rowland, C. F. (2007). Explaining errors in children's questions. Cognition 104, 106–34.
Rowland, C. F. & Noble, C. L. (2010). The role of syntactic structure in children's sentence comprehension: evidence from the dative. Language Learning and Development 7, 5575.
Rowland, C. F. & Pine, J. M. (2000). Subject–auxiliary inversion errors and wh-question acquisition: ‘What children do know?Journal of Child Language 27, 157–81.
Rowland, C. F., Pine, J. M., Lieven, E. V. & Theakston, A. L. (2003). Determinants of acquisition order in wh-questions: re-evaluating the role of caregiver speech. Journal of Child Language 30, 609–36.
Rowland, C. F. & Theakston, A. L. (2009). The acquisition of auxiliary syntax: a longitudinal elicitation study, Part 2: the modals and auxiliary DO. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 52, 1471–92.
Sakas, W. G. & Fodor, J. D. (2012). Disambiguating syntactic triggers. Language Acquisition 19, 83143.
Sarilar, A., Matthews, D. & Küntay, A. C. (2013). Hearing relative clauses boosts relative clause usage (and referential clarity) in young Turkish language learners. Applied Psycholinguistics online: <doi:10.1017/S0142716413000192>.
Santelmann, L., Berk, S., Austin, J., Somashekar, S. & Lust, B. (2002). Continuity and development in the acquisition of inversion in yes/no questions: dissociating movement and inflection. Journal of Child Language 29, 813–42.
Savage, C., Lieven, E. V. M., Theakston, A. & Tomasello, M. (2003). Testing the abstractness of children's linguistic representations: lexical and structural priming of syntactic constructions in young children. Developmental Science 6, 557–67.
Savic, S. (1975). Aspects of adult–child communication: the problem of question acquisition. Journal of Child Language 2, 251–60.
Savin, H. B. (1963). Word-frequency effects and errors in the perception of speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 35, 200–6.
Schwartz, R. G. & Terrell, B. Y. (1983). The role of input frequency in lexical acquisition. Journal of Child Language 10, 5764.
Scott, R. M. & Fisher, C. (2009). Two-year-olds use distributional cues to interpret transitivity-alternating verbs. Language and Cognitive Processes 24, 777803.
Seidenberg, M. S. (1997). Language acquisition and use: learning and applying probabilistic constraints. Science 275, 1599–604.
Slobin, D. I. & Bever, T. G. (1982). Children use canonical sentence schemas: a crosslinguistic study of word order and inflections. Cognition 12(3), 229265.
Smiley, P. & Huttenlocher, J. (1995). Conceptual development and the child's early words for events, objects and persons. In Tomasello, M. & Merriman, W. (eds), Beyond names for things: the acquisition of verbs, 2162. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
St John, M. F. & McClelland, J. L. (1990). Learning and applying contextual constraints in sentence comprehension. Artificial Intelligence 46, 217–57.
Stefanowitsch, A. (2008). Negative evidence and preemption: a constructional approach to ungrammaticality. Cognitive Linguistics 19, 513–31.
Stefanowitsch, A. & Gries, S. T. (2003). Collostructions: investigating the interaction of words and constructions. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 8, 209–43.
Stromswold, K. (1990). Learnability and the acquisition of auxiliaries. Unpublished PhD dissertation, MIT.
Stumper, B., Bannard, C., Lieven, E. V. M. & Tomasello, M. (2011). ‘Frequent frames’ in German child-directed speech: a limited cue to grammatical categories. Cognitive Science 35, 1190–205.
Suttle, L. & Goldberg, A. E. (2011). The partial productivity of constructions as induction. Linguistics 49, 1237–69.
Temperley, D. (2007). Music and probability. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Theakston, A. L. (2004). The role of entrenchment in children's and adults’ performance on grammaticality judgement tasks. Cognitive Development 19, 1534.
Theakston, A. L. (2012). ‘The spotty cow tickled the pig with a curly tail’: How do sentence position, preferred argument structure, and referential complexity affect children's and adults’ choice of referring expression? Applied Psycholinguistics 33, 691724.
Theakston, A. L. & Lieven, E. V. M. (2005). The acquisition of auxiliaries BE and HAVE: an elicitation study. Journal of Child Language 32, 587616.
Theakston, A. L. & Lieven, E. V. M. (2008). The influence of discourse context on children's provision of auxiliary BE. Journal of Child Language 35(1), 129–58.
Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M., Pine, J. M. & Rowland, C. F. (2001). The role of performance limitations in the acquisition of verb-argument structure: an alternative account. Journal of Child Language 28, 127–52.
Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M., Pine, J. M. & Rowland, C. F. (2002). ‘Going’, ‘going’, ‘gone’: the acquisition of the verb ‘go’. Journal of Child Language 29, 783811.
Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M., Pine, J. M. & Rowland, C. F. (2004). Semantic generality, input frequency and the acquisition of syntax. Journal of Child Language 31, 6199.
Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M., Pine, J. M. & Rowland, C. F. (2005). The acquisition of auxiliary syntax: BE and HAVE. Cognitive Linguistics 16, 247–77.
Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M. & Tomasello, M. (2003). The role of the input in the acquisition of third person singular verbs in English. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 46, 863–77.
Theakston, A. L. & Rowland, C. F. (2009). The acquisition of auxiliary syntax: a longitudinal elicitation study. Part 1: auxiliary BE. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 52, 1449–70.
Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a language: a usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Tyack, D. & Ingram, D. (1977). Children's production and comprehension of questions. Journal of Child Language 4, 211–28.
Valian, V., Lasser, I. & Mandelbaum, D. (1992). Children's early questions. Paper presented at the 17th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.
Vasilyeva, M., Huttenlocher, J. & Waterfall, H. (2006). Effects of language intervention on syntactic skill levels in preschoolers. Developmental Psychology 42, 164–74.
Vihman, M. M. & Vihman, V.-A. (2011). From first words to segments: a case study in phonological development. In Arnon, I. & Clark, E. V. (eds), Experience, variation, and generalization: learning a first language, 109–33. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Wang, H. S. & Derwing, B. L. (1994). Some vowel schemas in three English morphological classes: experimental evidence. In Chen, M. Y. & Tang, O. C. L. (eds), In honor of Professor William S.-Y. Wang: interdisciplinary studies on language and language change, 561–75. Taipei: Pyramid Press.
Wang, M. & Koda, K. (2005). Commonalities and differences in word identification skills among learners of English as a second language. Language Learning 55, 7198.
Weisleder, A. & Waxman, S. R. (2010). What's in the input? Frequent frames in child-directed speech offer distributional cues to grammatical categories in Spanish and English. Journal of Child Language 37(5), 10891108.
Westergaard, M. (2009). Usage-based vs. rule-based learning: the acquisition of word order in wh-questions in English and Norwegian. Journal of Child Language 36(5), 1023–74.
Whitehurst, G., Ironsmith, M. & Goldfein, M. (1974). Selective imitation of the passive construction through modeling. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 17, 288302.
Wode, H. (1976). Some stages in the acquisition of questions by monolingual children. Word 27, 261310.
Wonnacott, E., Newport, E. L. & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2008). Acquiring and processing verb argument structure: distributional learning in a miniature language. Cognitive Psychology 56, 165209.
Xiao, R., McEnery, T. & Qian, Y. (2006). Passive constructions in English and Chinese: a corpus-based contrastive study. Languages in Contrast 6, 109–49.
Yang, C. (2004). Universal Grammar, statistics or both? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8, 451–6.
Year, J. & Gordon, P. (2009). Korean speakers’ acquisition of the English ditransitive construction: the role of verb prototype, input distribution, and frequency. Modern Language Journal 93, 399417.
Yip, V. & Matthews, S. (2007). Relative clauses in Cantonese–English bilingual children. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 29, 277300.
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? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed