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|Title:||The acquisition of numeral classifiers in Thai|
Soranee Holasuit Petty
|Keywords:||Arts and Humanities;Social Sciences;Numeral classifiers|
|Citation:||Linguistics. Vol.22, No.4 (1984), 455-480|
|Abstract:||This paper reports on a cross-sectional experimental investigation of the acquisition of numeral classifiers in Thai. Using a sentence-completion paradigm, ten subjects from each of six age groups (5, 6, 7, 8, 10, adult) were asked to supply an appropriate classifier in response to pictures of 72 nouns representative of a wide variety of semantic categories of classification. As measured by mean percent correct for each nonadult group, there was a gradual increase in performance across different categories of classification. The performance of 10-year-old subjects, however, was still not comparable to that of the adult controls. A within-category analysis indicated that animate and configurational classifiers were acquired earlier and later, respectively, than classifiers in other categories. A semantic analysis of classifier errors revealed that the general classifier for inanimate objects and repeater classifiers were substituted for more specialized classifiers, especially in the younger age groups. Other errors were based primarily on inherent characteristics of the classified nouns, illustrating the intersecting nature of semantic features and the scope and complexity of Thai classifiers. A comparison of classifier errors to young children's overextensions of early word meanings suggests that both are based on similar perceptible properties of objects. Findings are interpreted in the context of cognitive capacities used in the formation of natural categories. © 1984, Mouton Publishers.|
|Appears in Collections:||Scopus 1969-1990|
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