Irregular verbs

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How do native English kids get irregular verbs?

The procedure of how kids get their first linguistic communication is a widely investigated phenomenon. Some research workers and experts agree that every kid has a particular linguistic communication acquisition device, which enables them to larn a linguistic communication really efficaciously. Numerous researches have been conducted on the different phases of first linguistic communication acquisition. One of these phases is the procedure of verb acquisition. Children normally make mistakes when seeking to utilize the past tense signifiers of irregular verbs, but subsequently on these mistakes disappear, as they get the correct signifiers. In this paper I will, foremost demonstrate the phases of first linguistic communication acquisition and topographic point the stage of verb acquisition, so I will explicate the most common error kids make with irregular yesteryear tenses, and in conclusion, I will give an account to this phenomenon, and demo the effect it could perchance hold.

Harmonizing to Pinker ( 1994 ) when a kid is born it can separate all the phonemes of the universe ‘s linguistic communications, even if there is no differentiation in their female parent lingua. By making 10 months of age, nevertheless, they will hold learned the sounds used in their linguistic communication, and will non hold a cosmopolitan cognition of sounds any longer, merely like grownups. Children learn to understand address between two month and their first birthday. They start to bring forth syllables in between this clip span, at around their 7th month. This stage is calledbabble. Then, they begin to utilize individual, stray words when they are one twelvemonth old, and with 18 months, their vocabulary starts to turn really rapidly, and sentence structure besides begins with uniting words. When they reach their 2nd twelvemonth the development in all Fieldss of linguistic communication acquisition is really rapid, and as Pinker ( 1994 ) provinces, with three old ages a kid is a “ grammatical mastermind ” ( p. 276 ) . For a better overview we could call the phases as follows: “ Syllable Babbling, Gibberish Babbling, One-Word-Utterances, Two-Word-String, and All Hell Breaks Loose ” ( Pinker, 1994, p. 269 ) .

The acquisition of verbs normally takes topographic point subsequently than that of nouns ( Harris, Meints and Plunkett, 2008 ) . There are two types of verbs: regular verbs and irregular verbs. In order to bring forth the past tenses of verbs, Redman and Rice ( 2001 ) point out, that “ kids need to get the morphophonological constituent of past tense, the regulations for bring forthing the assorted signifiers associated with past tense ” ( p. 655 ) . This means, that they have to larn that the past tense is constructed by adding-edto the root, and that there are irregular verbs, which are exclusions to the regulation, and are produced otherwise. Learning to bring forth the past tense of regular verbs is normally non a job for kids, because they merely have to cognize one regulation, and be able to use it. The job is with irregular verbs, because there is no regulation at that place, which can be applied. The error kids normally make when seeking to utilize the past tense of irregular verbs is called overregularization. This can happen whan the kid already knows, that in order to show past tense,-edhas to be added to the root of the verb, and applies this regulation, falsely, to irregular verbs as good ( Matthews and Theakston, 2006 ) .

There is an account to this phenomenon. Harmonizing to Pinker ( 1994 ) , irregular verb signifiers have to be memorized independently, linked together as word brace, and if the right signifier can non be retrieved from memory, the general regulation of adding-edis applied. This permutation can happen, because regular inflexion is a “ symbol-combination regulation ” and “ does non necessitate entree to the contents of memory ” ( Pinker, 2001, p. 19 ) . In the English linguistic communication there are about 180 irregular verbs, which originate from Old and Middle English. There used to be approximately twice every bit many, but grownups besides tend to bury that a verb is irregular, particularly if it is non a common, frequently used verb, and get down to utilize it as a regular verb ( Pinker, 1994 ) . Therefore, the sum of regular verbs is increasing, while that of irregular 1s is diminishing.

It can be concluded so, that verb acquisition starts between the kid ‘s first and 2nd birthday, slightly after noun acquisition. When utilizing the past tense of verbs, kids have to cognize the regulation which is used with regular verbs, and that there are irregular verbs, which are produced otherwise. However, they tend to use the general regulation, which is used for regular verbs, besides for irregular verbs. This is likely so, because there is no regulation for bring forthing the past tense of irregular verbs, so they have to be memorized as braces of words, and if the kid can non retrieve the right signifier, or the other half of the word brace, it merely applies the regulation it knows, and generates a regular yesteryear tensed verb. Irregular verbs, that are non frequently used, might remain in the kid ‘s vocabulary as regular 1s, and this can do the addition of regular verbs and the lessening of irregular verbs.


Harris, P. L. , Meints, K. , & A ; Plunkett, K. ( 2008 ) . Eating apples and houseplants: Typicality restraints on thematic functions in early verb acquisition.Language and Cognitive Procedures,23, 434-463.

Matthews, D. E. , & A ; Theakston, A. L. ( 2006 ) . Mistakes of skip in English-speaking kids ‘s production of plurals and the past tense: The effects of frequence, phonemics, and competition.Cognitive Science, 30,1027-1052.

Pinker, S. ( 1994 ) . Baby born talking-Describes Heaven. InThe linguistic communication inherent aptitude( pp. 262-296 ) . London, England: Penguin Books.

Pinker, S. ( 2001 ) . Wordss and regulations.Eye on Psi Chi,14-19.

Redmond, S. M. , & A ; Rice, M. L. ( 2001 ) . Detection of irregular verb misdemeanors by kids with and without SLI.Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44,655-669.