Jean Berko Gleason and the Wug Test (1958) • What is the grammatical rule that the child has learnt when he / she answers ‘wugs’?
Adding endings to words • As they become older, children increasingly develop the ability to add endings (suffixes) or beginnings (prefixes) to words in order to express a different meaning. However, in doing so, they can make mistakes, and it is the mistakes that clearly indicate the rules which are being applied. • Eg. 1. The plural suffix ‘s’ • Can you think of any other plurals in English which might cause confusion? • These are ‘virtuous errors’ - what is the technical term for the process which the child has undertaken?
E.g. 2. The past tense ending ‘–ed’ • Can you think of any other verbs in English which might cause confusion?
This is my sleeper… • Other affixes which are learnt by children: • -er • dis-
Two more word-coining processes Consider the following data from various children at different ages. What processes have they undertaken in order to form the words they are using here? 2 years: plate-egg (fried egg) 2 years: cup-egg (boiled egg) 3 years: rat-man (experimental psychologist) 3 years: rip-boy…. no, ripper (someone who rip things) 2 years 4 months: you have to scale it (weigh cheese) 3 years 11 months: I’m going to earth it (bury) 2 years 4 months: I’m souping (eating soup) 2 years 6 months: I’m darking the sky (colouring a picture) 3 years: How do you sharp this? (holding pencil) 3 years: Full this up (holding out a cup)