Title

Acquisition of Agreement and Morphological Features Within the Noun Phrase in Russian

Date of Completion

January 2010

Keywords

Language, Linguistics|Language, General

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This dissertation is dedicated to the study of acquisition of morphological features of number, gender and case within the noun phrase in Russian. I investigated several factors influencing the ordering effects of the acquisition of these morphological features derived from different accounts depending on their take on the agreement features being derived from meaning or form. Such factors are semantic grounds, canonicity, and feature specificity. I also took a closer look at the acquisition of gender in Russian nouns to compare competing accounts of gender and declension class representation in Russian. The dissertation is based on the data from two experimental studies performed with Russian monolingual children between the ages 2;5 and 5 years old. Both studies were set up as elicited production. The first study focuses on the ordering effects in the acquisition of agreement features of number, gender and case within the noun phrase. The second study focuses on the debate between two competing accounts of the representation of gender in Russian. These accounts differently answer the question of whether gender in Russian is derived from declension class, or if, on the contrary, declension class is derived from gender. ^