Delayed acquisition of irregular inflectional morphology in Hebrew in early sequential bilingualism

Mila Schwartz, Ely Kozminsky, Mark Leikin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Acquisition of the irregular forms of inflectional morphology may be a challenge for bilingual students because of the possible effect of infrequent input. Focusing on irregular plural forms of languages such as Hebrew can contribute to better understanding how bilingual children cope with anomalous morphological forms. The present study compares Russian-Hebrew-speaking sequential bilingual children with Hebrew-speaking monolingual children in their command on four measures of irregular forms of Hebrew plural nouns at two data collection points: the beginning of the second grade and the beginning of the third grade, at a time when the acquisition of these forms is still going on. Although results show that the bilingual children continued to be less accurate than their monolingual peers in producingthe irregular forms at the second point of data collection, the medium-size effect (Cohen, 1992) was obtained only on one of four measures. Furthermore, the finding attests to the significant improvement of both groups in the course of one school year on all categories of irregular plural forms. It was also found that both groups acquire the irregular forms of the Hebrew plural noun system in a similar way and exhibit related patterns of developmental errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-522
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Bilinguals' l2 acquisition
  • Irregular noun plurals
  • Multi-interval study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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