Derivational Morphophonology: Exploring Errors in Third Graders' Productions Purpose This study describes a post hoc analysis of segmental, stress, and syllabification errors in third graders' productions of derived English words with the stress-changing suffixes -ity and -ic. We investigated whether (a) derived word frequency influences error patterns, (b) stress and syllabification errors always co-occur, and (c) derived word ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   July 01, 2009
Derivational Morphophonology: Exploring Errors in Third Graders' Productions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Jarmulowicz
    The University of Memphis, TN
  • Sarah E. Hay
    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
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   July 01, 2009
Derivational Morphophonology: Exploring Errors in Third Graders' Productions
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2009, Vol. 40, 299-311. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/08-0006)
History: Received January 28, 2008 , Accepted July 21, 2008
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2009, Vol. 40, 299-311. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/08-0006)
History: Received January 28, 2008; Accepted July 21, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose This study describes a post hoc analysis of segmental, stress, and syllabification errors in third graders' productions of derived English words with the stress-changing suffixes -ity and -ic. We investigated whether (a) derived word frequency influences error patterns, (b) stress and syllabification errors always co-occur, and (c) derived word stress pattern affects errors.

Method A total of 1,900 productions from 81 third-grade children were transcribed and coded. The targets were 8 high-frequency (HF) and 8 low-frequency (LF) real English words and 8 nonsense (NS) derived words. Participants combined a suffix and a base word to produce a derived word. The vowel-initial suffixes required both stress and syllabic changes in a base word.

Results Children made more segmental and stress errors on NS words than on HF and LF words, but more syllabification errors on LF words than on HF and NS words. More items among the LF words required vowel alternations than among the HF words. When syllabification was not mastered, stress was usually incorrect; however, when syllabification was correct, children often still erred on stress. Derived words that contained 2 trochaic feet were produced with fewer errors than were those that only had 1 trochaic foot.

Conclusion Rather than a frequency effect, a lexical effect emerged such that real words were more similar to each other for segmental and stress errors than they were to NS words. Three findings suggest that prosody plays a role in errors: Children made more suprasegmental than segmental errors, they appeared to master syllabification before stress placement, and they produced fewer errors on derived words with 2 trochaic feet than on those with only 1 trochaic foot. Although these results are preliminary, they highlight the role of prosody in morphophonology.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation 2004 New Investigator Grant, awarded to the first author, and by the Center for Research Initiatives and Strategies for the Communicatively Impaired. Many thanks to Bunty Ethington, Kathleen Fulmer, and Maki Doiuchi. We are especially grateful to the schools, teachers, and children who participated in this study.
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