Patterns of pronoun case error

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This paper addresses the question of whether the rate and patterns of pronoun case error are influenced by the composition of an individual pronoun's paradigm. Twenty-nine children, aged 2;6 to 4;0 were audiotaped for two 1-hour sessions, interacting with their primary caregivers engaged in free play, book reading and family album viewing. It was found that her was overextended for she at a significantly higher rate than him for he and them for they, providing evidence of a 'double-cell' effect that increases the incidence of error in the feminine pronoun. It was also found that the overextension of nominative forms (e.g. he for him), were antagonistic to the more frequently occurring type of overextension, objective for nominative (e.g. him for he). These findings indicate that the composition of a pronoun's paradigm influenced the patterns of pronoun case error observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-554
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)

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