Linguistic processing in Hebrew-speaking children from low and high SES backgrounds

Rachel Schiff, Dorit Ravid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of Socio-Economic Status (SES) on Hebrew-speaking children's developing ability to pluralize nouns and mark adjectives in agreement with them. Participants were 180 gradeschool children from mid-high SES and 180 peers from low SES, in six consecutive grade levels. The task consisted of 32 singular noun-adjective pairs with nouns classified into four categories by suffix type (Regular and Irregular) and by stem type (Nonchanging and Changing). Results showed a consistent advantage to the high SES children in accuracy of noun and adjective plurals, with gaps widening when the morphological requirements were harder, that is, in the irregular categories. Moreover, the fact that low SES children's reaction times to producing the full plural phrase hardly decreased indicates that, unlike their high SES peers, they also did not gain more processing efficiency with age and schooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1448
Number of pages22
JournalReading and Writing
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Hebrew inflection
  • Low SES
  • Morphology

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