Acquisition of derived nominate in Hebrew: Developmental and linguistic principles

Dorit Ravid*, Avraham Avidor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Derived nominals are abstract nouns derived from verbs and adjectives by nominalization. This study traces the route taken by Hebrew-speaking children in the acquisition of Hebrew derived nominals (HDNs) of two types : action nominals which conform in structure to the small set of obligatory verb patterns (binyanim) (e.g. ktiva 'writing') and deverbal nouns, which belong to separate nominal patterns (e.g. maga 'touch'). One hundred native speakers of Hebrew (children aged 5, 8, 11 and 15, and adults) were tested on comprehension and production of HDNs. The test items were grouped by binyan patterns and by morphological regularity. Results showed that acquisition of HDNs starts at about age 8 and is not complete by age 15, and that task type, binyan pattern and morphological regularity all affect ease of acquisition. We consider the strategies employed in the course of acquisition of HDNs and offer an explanation for this late acquisition which requires a vast amount of prior integrated knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-266
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1998


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