Exploration of Lexical–Semantic Factors Affecting Stress Production in Derived Words Purpose This study examined whether lexical frequency, semantic knowledge, or sentence context affect children’s production of primary stress in derived words with stress-changing suffixes (e.g., -ity). Method Thirty children (Mage = 9;1 [years;months]) produced a limited set of high-frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) derived words formed with stress-changing ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2007
Exploration of Lexical–Semantic Factors Affecting Stress Production in Derived Words
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Jarmulowicz
    The University of Memphis, TN
  • Valentina L. Taran
    The University of Memphis, TN
  • Contact author: Linda Jarmulowicz, The University of Memphis, School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, 807 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105. E-mail: ljrmlwcz@memphis.edu.
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2007
Exploration of Lexical–Semantic Factors Affecting Stress Production in Derived Words
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 378-389. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/039)
History: Received March 16, 2006 , Revised September 18, 2006 , Accepted February 26, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 378-389. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/039)
History: Received March 16, 2006; Revised September 18, 2006; Accepted February 26, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose This study examined whether lexical frequency, semantic knowledge, or sentence context affect children’s production of primary stress in derived words with stress-changing suffixes (e.g., -ity).

Method Thirty children (Mage = 9;1 [years;months]) produced a limited set of high-frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) derived words formed with stress-changing suffixes (e.g., -ity). Half of the children produced the derived words in a sentence context. The other half produced words in isolation. Semantic knowledge of the derived words was also assessed.

Results Primary stress was produced more accurately in HF words than in LF words. HF words produced in a sentence context were more accurate than all LF words and HF words produced in isolation. Both knowing a word’s meaning and accurately producing stress was more likely for HF words than for LF words. A substantial minority of derived words (36%) was either known semantically or produced correctly, but not both.

Conclusion Accurate morphophonological production may involve semantic and frequency factors, but those factors alone do not explain all of the results. This study isolates several important factors that may be useful when choosing derived word stimuli.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Many thanks to Bunty Ethington, Kathleen Fulmer, and Sarah Hay, and to the teachers and children who participated in this study.
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