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Anales de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1695-2294Print version ISSN 0212-9728


PEREZ-PAZ, Verónica I.; ARIAS-TREJO, Natalia  and  ALVA, Elda Alicia. The Influence of the Number of Objects and Verbal Cues in the Early Distinction of Plural. Anal. Psicol. [online]. 2016, vol.32, n.3, pp.863-870. ISSN 1695-2294.

Language allows exploring the world and expressing knowledge about it. In the case of grammatical number, the ability to associate verbal cues of singular and plural allows children to infer meaning, discriminate, anticipate and track referents. Early comprehension of plural is dependent on the verbal cues provided; and production, on the number of items in a set. Nevertheless, it remains unknown the relationship that both factors play in the early comprehension of the plural in a morphologically rich language such as Spanish. Therefore, the objective of the current research was to explore whether the number of verbal cues influences the ability of 2-year-old Spanish speakers to verbally distinguish plural in a small set of objects (2 versus 1) from singular. Two experiments were performed by means of the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm to evaluate whether the children associated multiple verbal cues (E1) as well as noun-endings (E2) indicative of plural to a set of two objects. Children associated the multiple cues of plurality, but not the noun-endings, to the set of two objects. These results suggest a certain degree of difficulty in the early comprehension of plural, when a set is formed by two objects; nonetheless, they also confirm children's early ability to extract information from syntactic enriched frames.

Keywords : language acquisition; Spanish; development; plural morphology.

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