Symposium on Psycholinguistics

Lexical Bias among Tagalog-speaking Filipino Pre-school Children

Aprilette C. Devanadera (Southern Luzon State University, Lucban, Philippines)

Ericson O. Alieto (Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga, Philippines)

This study examined the narrative production of forty (40) Tagalog-speaking Filipino pre-school children to determine the noun bias in the early vocabulary of the participants. The results showed that the noun utterances got the highest percentage of occurrences in the children’s narrative production. Thus a noun bias is present among the young Filipino bilingual children. Although the results revealed that both male and female do not significantly differ in the production of nouns and adjectives, it is however interesting to point that there is a significant difference in the use of verbs between male and female pre-school children. The female children showed a preponderance in the use of verbs which several studies claim that verbs are more complex for children to learn. In addition, the present study investigated the influence of socio-economic status of the family in the lexical inventory of the participants. The result of the study illustrated that gender and socio-economic status influence the participants’ lexical inventories.

Keywords:  noun bias, lexical inventory, narrative production, gender, socio-economic status

Examining the Morphological Processing of Inflected and Derived Words by Students in Grades 7, 8, and 9

Jennibelle R. Ella (Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba and De La Salle University-Manila)

Marvin C. Casalan (University of Antique and De La Salle University-Manila)

Rochelle Irene G. Lucas (De La Salle University-Manila)

Morphological processing of inflected and derived words tends to vary by age as studies have reported that preschool children begin to produce inflected words spontaneously in their speech earlier than derived words (Brown, 1973; de Villiers & de Villiers, 1973). Conversely, knowledge of derived forms occurs in late childhood and are continuously learned even beyond adolescence. This study follows Deacon, Campbell, Tamming, and Kirby’s (2010) attempt to establish a direct comparison of relational knowledge of inflected and derived forms through priming method. Specifically, it focuses on ESL children whose native language is Kinaray-a – a language widely spoken in Antique Province in the central part of the Philippines. The experiment involved 90 students from Grades 7, 8, and 9 in a public high school. They were presented four types of priming conditions – root forms, inflected, derived and orthographic control items (e.g., form, formed, forming, and format) then followed by a fragment completion task (e.g., f o _ _ ). The results showed that the participants were able to complete the fragment with the target word (e.g., form for f o _ _ ). Analysis of the mean accuracy and priming effect revealed that identity/root form had the highest score and the greatest priming effect was followed by the inflected and the derived forms. Moreover, no statistically significant difference was found between inflectionally and derivationally suffixed words as they are both equally effective in eliciting the target words. Finally, priming effects were greater for the inflected and derived forms than for the orthographic control, and they were also found to be consistent by and across grades.

Keywords: morphological processing, inflected words, derived words, second language learners 

Features of Filipino Infant Directed Speech (IDS) and Maternal Input

Richard M. Rillo (Centro Escolar University, Manila, Philippines)

Jimmylen Z. Tonio (Catandauanes State University, Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines)

Rochelle Irene G. Lucas (De La Salle University-Manila)

When talking to infants, adults, especially mothers, espouse a particular type of speech known as Infant-directed Speech (IDS) or “babytalk” or “babytalking” , which contains a set of specialized speech with simplified grammatical construction; more repetitive; and more grammatical than adult-directed speech. Specifically, this study reports on the lexical repertoire of Filipino mothers’ IDS enriched by the inclusion of code switching as a linguistic strategy in optimizing language development among multilingual Filipino infants. This study has found out that Filipino mothers use as many nouns as verbs in their IDS more than any other lexical categories; and explored inter-sentential code switching as a strategy in their IDS. The findings of this study generate baseline information in part by recent cross-linguistic studies on early lexical development, contrary to the universal noun-bias hypothesis among young children, and the use of a single language in addressing young children to optimize language development.

Keywords: Infant-directed Speech (IDS), babytalk, Filipino mothers, lexical repertoire, code switching.