ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Experimental Linguistics (ExLing 2008)
This paper discusses the acquisition of plural forms of words that end in a back glide in Brazilian Portuguese and may take two plural forms: either -s (the regular suffix) or the suffix -is. Fourty children were presented to picture cards containing words ending in a back glide and were asked to identify what they saw. Childrens answers presented the suffix -is for the vast majority of words rather than the regular plural suffix -s. Our results indicate that children abstract schemas rather than acquire default rules. The -is suffix has a very high frequency rate for words that end in a back glide which yields to the establishment of robust schemas. We argue that the plural suffix -is is adopted by children due to frequency effects which foments a very robust schema and enhances productivity.
Bibliographic reference. Silva, Thais Cristófaro / Gomes, Christina Abreu (2008): "Frequency effects in language acquisition: a case study of plural forms in Brazilian Portuguese", In ExLing-2008, 205-208.