A developmental study of the role of word order in comprehending Hebrew

Daniel G. Frankel, Marianne Amir, Etha Frenkel, Tali Arbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Monolingual Hebrew-speaking subjects, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11 years old, as well as adults, were asked to interpret utterances consisting of two nouns and a verb. Some utterances included only word order cues while others included direct object marker and subject-verb gender agreement cues. Even though Hebrew word order is relatively free, when subjects used word order as an interpretive cue they generally assigned sentence relations according to the dominant SVO order of modern Hebrew. This trend was less strong for the interpretations of NNV utterances than of NVN and VNN utterances. There was no evidence of a developmental sequence for word order strategies. In addition, there was no evidence that word order, for any age group, was necessarily a dominant cue for assigning sentence relations when other linguistic information was available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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