Me or my: Two different patterns of pronoun case errors

Matthew Rispoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates why some young children prefer to replace I with me (me-children), whereas others prefer to replace I with my (my-children). The data come from 12 children, observed monthly, from 1;0 to 3;0. It was found that the percentage of errors in which me replaced I (the me-error rate) was positively correlated with the correct production of me as an objective pronoun (the me-total). The me for I and my for I errors were antagonistic, with one of the patterns almost always dominating over the other, resulting in a clear individual difference between me-children and my- children. It was also found that the me-total during the period in which my for I replacements first emerged prefigured whether a child would become a me-child or a my-child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Case errors
  • Development
  • Grammatical
  • Lexical retrieval
  • Pronouns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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