SDÁ 1-2-2007: Johanna Ijäs

Álgogeahčastat sámegielat máná ovda- ja árramorfologiijai

Johanna Ijäs (Sámi Instituhtta ja Oulu universitehta)

Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).

Preliminary view of pre- and protomorphology in North Sami child language

In this paper, the terms premorphology and protomorphology are first defined, and then, some pre- and protomorphological word forms by a bilingual Sami- and Finnish-speaking girl aged 1;1–3;6 are discussed.

Premorphology is the stage of language acquisition where the child learns word forms by imitating them and it doesn’t inflect them itself. At the protomorphological stage the child identifies morphological elements of the language and starts producing inflected word forms itself.

The first nouns adopted from adult language as unanalysed chunks, appeared to be but in some cases served as the first form. In the case of verbs, the unmarked forms and were the first forms used by the child. These forms have been documented as initial premorphological forms in e.g. Finnish, too. Among the main protomorphological phenomena identified in the data so far, is that the child overgeneralizes some inflectional patterns by choosing a word stem which differes from the stem in adult language (e.g. jámai ‘jámii’, cf. manai; šattii ‘šattai’, cf. bođii). In some inflectional forms, the stems without any suffixes are used as morphological wholes (e.g. oainná (= oainná-n) ‘I see’, boađá (= boađá-t) ‘you (sg.) come’). Another central phenomenon is the defective mastery of the morphophonological process called grade alternation (e.g. juhka ‘juga’, jápmii ‘jámii’, boađá ‘boahtá’).