Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s):
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Several recent theories have suggested that an increase in the number of non-native speakers in a language can lead to changes in morphological rules. We examine this experimentally by contrasting the performance of native and non-native English speakers in a simple Wug-task, showing that non-native speakers are significantly more likely to provide non -ed (i.e., irregular) past-tense forms for novel verbs than native speakers. Both groups are sensitive to sound similarities between new words and existing words (i.e., are more likely to provide irregular forms for novel words which sound similar to existing irregulars). Among both natives and non-natives, irregularizations are non-random; that is, rather than presenting as truly irregular inflectional strategies, they follow identifiable sub-rules present in the highly frequent set of irregular English verbs. Our results shed new light on how native and non-native learners can affect language structure.
Author(s): Cuskley C, Colaiori F, Castellano C, Loreto V, Pugliese M, Tria F
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Memory and Language
Print publication date: 01/10/2015
Online publication date: 08/07/2015
Acceptance date: 18/06/2015
Date deposited: 09/05/2019
ISSN (print): 0749-596X
ISSN (electronic): 1096-0821
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric