Studies on the acquisition of morphology and syntax among Malay children in Malaysia

Issues, challenges and needs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Introduction: This chapter will survey studies conducted on the acquisition of morphology and syntax among Malay children in Malaysia. Studies will be described so as to give an account of how research in this area has progressed and aspects of research which are still lacking will be highlighted. Issues and challenges will also be raised and the future needs in terms of research and its applications will be elaborated on. Background: Though this chapter covers studies which were carried out in Malaysia, we will briefly mention studies carried out elsewhere in the region, namely Singapore and Indonesia. This is to illustrate the diverse nature of research conducted and also to contribute to the overall picture of developmental Malay morphology and syntax studies in the region. Aman (2007 and Chapter 9) examined the acquisition of wh-questions among 30 Singapore Malay preschool children (with a mean age of 4;2) with ages ranging from 3;4 to 4;6, who were tested using experimental (elicited imitation tasks, picture-story comprehension task) and longitudinal methodologies (spontaneous production tasks). Aman examined children’s understanding of three different types of wh-questions, that is, questions which involved moved wh-words, wh-in-situ (wh-word in base position) and focus questions. The children’s knowledge of long-distance movement and the role of island constraints were examined. Aman found that children between ages 4;5 and 6;5 seemed not to respect island constraints on wh-movements. It was argued that the island constraints are the result of a processing effect in which in-situ wh-questions are not subject to islands, but instead are primes for the responses in fully moved questions. Children used relative clause marker ‘yang’ in both headless (e.g. Yang colour orange panjang itu apa? ‘What (is) that (thing that is) long (and) orange (in colour)?’) and headed relative clauses (e.g. Nanti kita baca buku yang lain ‘We (will) read a book that (is different than this) later’). This was attributed to the filler-gap strategy rather than the reconstruction strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouth and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages133-144
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781139084642
ISBN (Print)9781107017764
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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syntax
Malaysia
Singapore
imitation
preschool child
Indonesia
respect
comprehension
reconstruction
methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Studies on the acquisition of morphology and syntax among Malay children in Malaysia : Issues, challenges and needs. / Rogayah, A Razak.

South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press, 2011. p. 133-144.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Rogayah, A Razak. / Studies on the acquisition of morphology and syntax among Malay children in Malaysia : Issues, challenges and needs. South and Southeast Asian Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press, 2011. pp. 133-144
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