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La adquisicion de la morfologia verbal por parte de un grupo de ninos monolingues del espanol.


1. Introduction

Spanish is a so-called rich inflectional language with up to 53 inflectional verb forms distributed between regular and irregular verbs (Rojas-Nieto, 2003). Roots are always bound, as verbs must contain markings for person, tense/aspect, and number. In addition to regular verb forms, around 900 verbs involve inflected forms which require stem or root changes (i.e., irregular forms; Clahsen, Aveledo & Roca, 2002).

Logically, the acquisition of verb morphology by native speakers reflects the complexity in the system, as children produce multiple non-target-like forms wherein tense, person, and number errors are evidenced. Initially, Spanish monolingual children reportedly over-rely on first and second person conjugations, a feature which has been interpreted as evidence of a Root Infinitive stage (which in Germanic languages such as English is described in terms of non-finite verb forms; Pratt & Grinstead, 2007; Grinstead, 1994; and Torrens, 1995). Moreover, children's non-target-like verb forms reflect the regular-irregular asymmetry characteristic of the Spanish verb system, and children are said to over-apply regular verb morphological forms onto irregular verbs (e.g., Perez-Pereira, 1989; Johnson, 1995; Radford & Ploennig-Pacheco, 1995).

This study examined verb forms in the spontaneous speech by a group of 15 native Spanish-speaking children ages 3;6 to 5;6. The analysis of all 233 verb forms identified revealed pronunciation errors, number agreement errors, errors in the use of clitic pronouns, incorrect use of person and tense agreement, mainly with irregular verb forms, regularization of verb forms, and irregularization of regular verbs by using morphological rules that only apply to irregular verbs.

2. A first look at verb inflection

The acquisition of verb inflection has been studied in detail in various languages. For Germanic languages such as English, referred to as weak inflectional languages, linguists argue that at early stages, children omit morphological markers all together and produce non-finite forms. This stage has been referred to by Wexler (1990, 1994, 1998) as the Optional Infinitive stage (OI), a phase wherein children utter finite and non-finite verb forms alternatingly (see Boser, Lust, Santelmann & Whitman, 1992; Radford, 1990, Sano & Hyams, 1994). This phase is said to gradually disappear at around age 4;6 (Rice, Wexler & Hershberger, 1998; Rice, Wexler & Redmond, 1999).

In Romance languages such as Spanish and Italian, which have rich inflectional morphology, some researchers argue for a similar stage based on spontaneous productions in which children heavily rely on first and second person conjugations (also referred to as default or bare forms); these forms are seen as parallel to Optional Infinitives, although they are much less frequent than reported for Germanic languages (for Spanish: Pratt & Grinstead, 2007; Grinstead, 1994, and Torrens, 1995; for Catalan: Torrens, 1995; Grinstead, 1994, and Bel, 2001; for Italian: Guasti, 1994).

According to Pratt and Grinstead (2007), Spanish monolingual children appear to produce significantly less non-finite forms than English monolinguals due to the fact that,
   it is simply impossible to pronounce a verb root, e.g. camin-
   'walk', in Spanish without adding at least the word-final "word
   marker" morpheme--a to form camina " (p. 357). In contrast, in
   English "a morphological root walk is the same as the morphological
   stem walk. Though Spanish-speaking children seem willing to simply
   produce a stem, even when it does not agree with the subject, they
   would seem likely to be more keenly aware of word-final
   morphological processes than are child English speakers, simply as
   a function of input. (p. 357)

3. Possible accounts for omission of verb inflection in early child speech

The omission of INFL (Inflectional markers) in early speech has been accounted for in terms of various proposals, one of which appeals to limitations in cognitive capacities, given that there are systematic differences in the developmental progressions of various inflectional morphemes. Furthermore, based on the analysis of uninflected verb forms, it has been argued that uninflected verb forms are not simply base stems, but non-finite in nature (Soderstrom, 2002).

Despite the fact that children appear to use verb morphology incorrectly at early stages, perception and grammaticality judgment tasks by monolingual English speaking children suggest that "even infants are sensitive to the presence or absence of such inflections by 19 months, preferring inflected over uninflected verb forms even though they (might) not display this knowledge productively until several months later" (Soderstrom, 2002, p. 2).

Another possible account for INFL omissions in child speech refers to the children's usage-based perspective whereby children's early grammars are characterized by their gradual character, reduced productivity, and relational narrow-mindedness, "possibly manifesting children's selective attention to data in their real experience with language use" (Rojas-Nieto, 2003, p. 18). In fact, as Rojas-Nieto highlights, "not every inflexion type is equally present, nor every single verb occurs with any inflexion in a balanced way" (p. 19). Specifically, in Spanish, third person inflexion is more frequent than first and second person; these, in turn, are more or less equally frequent (as reported in Juilland & Chang, 1964; cited in Rojas Nieto, 2003). Furthermore, however, "for particular verbs, the preference may go in an inverse direction; for instance, some mental verbs are found to favor first person inflexion; though some other mental verbs more readily combine with second person" (as reported in Romero, 2003, p. 20). Likewise, with Spanish past verb inflexion forms, "achievement and accomplishment verbs are biased toward simple past inflexion (cayo 'it fell down', rompio 'it broke'); unbound activities and state verbs more frequently select the imperfect past inflexion (cantaba 'he sang-IMPF'; Moreno de Alva, 1978)", although allegedly, in Mexican Spanish, for example, the simple past tense is dominant over the past perfect form, which is said to be dominant in Peninsular Spanish.

4. A close look at the complexity in Spanish verb morphology

Verb morphology in Spanish is very complex; in fact, Rojas Nieto (2003) claims that there are up to 53 verb-inflexion forms which include: five simple indicative tenses, three subjunctive sets, all of which contain six different person contrasts each, as well as two imperative forms plus three uninflected forms: the infinitive, the gerund, and the participle. Furthermore, "together with this wide set of forms open for selection, there is the fact that every single inflexion form is a portmanteau morpheme that codes person, number, tenseaspect, and mood" (p. 16); every child's selection of a particular verb-affix hence presupposes the selection of a cluster which links a set of factors. Rojas Nieto makes a logical proposal according to which, initially, monolingual Spanish speaking children produce item-based forms, which are closely tied to experienced constructions and intervening discourse practices; i.e., to the children's input.

Clahsen et al., (2002) call attention to the fact that Spanish verb inflectional affixes are typically combined with stems which, in turn, are combinations of theme vowels (henceforth TV) and roots:

E.g.; jugar 'to play'

jug--a--ba--mos ('play' + TV + past imperfect indicative + 1st person plural)

Clahsen et al. (2002) add that "non-finite verb forms also include a TV followed by a specific marker for either the infinitive (-r-), the gerund (-nd-) or the past participle (-d-), which is followed by the so-called desinence in gerunds and past participles, and a plural suffix (preceded by a desinence sometimes analyzed as an epenthetic vowel) in plural forms of nominalized infinitives" (p. 594), as illustrated in the following examples:

a) cant--a--r 'to sing': 'sing' theme vowel (henceforth, TV) infinitive

b) cant--a--nd--o 'singing' 'sing' TV gerund desinence

c) can-t a--d--o = 'sung' 'sing' TV participle desinence

d) cant a-r e-s = 'songs' (N) 'sing' TV infinitive desinence plural (Clahsen et al., 2002, p. 594)

The root together with the theme vowel is referred to as the stem. Furthermore, most inflected forms are stem-based (e.g. cant-a-steis 'you-plural sang'), but some are root-based, at least at the surface, e.g. cant-o 'I sing', suggest Clahsen et al. (2002, p. 595).

Additionally, most verb forms in Spanish have (non-alternating) regular stems which can be further divided into three conjugations, identified by the TV, e.g. in the infinitive, as shown below:

e) first conjugation verbs have the TV--a-, e.g. cant-a-r 'to sing'

f) second conjugation verbs have the TV--e-, e.g. com-e-r 'to eat'

g) third conjugation verbs have the TV--i-, e.g. viv-i-r 'to live'.

Clahsen et al. (2002) point out that the first conjugation in Spanish is, by far, the largest in terms of verb types, and almost all of the 1st conjugation verbs have regular stem forms and regular inflectional suffixes. This was confirmed through a count of the verb (type) frequencies in the digital version of the dictionary of the Spanish language (Real Academia Espanola) through which these authors identified 9706 1st conjugation, 712 2nd conjugation, and 740 3rd conjugation verbs. Clahsen et al. (2002) highlight that, the 1st conjugation is the open class par excellence. For example, English to stress 'to cause stress' becomes Spanish estresar, English to film, Spanish filmar, and so on. Moreover, many 2nd and 3rd conjugation verbs have irregular forms; the 3rd conjugation has slightly more members than the 2nd conjugation, but they both have much fewer members than the 1st conjugation.

In addition to regular stem/root forms, there are approximately 900 verbs that have inflected forms that require stem or root changes. About 30 of these are highly irregular, including verbs such as estar 'to be', caber 'to fit', querer 'to want', poner 'to put', tener 'to have', ir 'to go', venir 'to come'. This is illustrated below for the past indicative and past participle forms of irregular poner 'to put':

h) puse 'I put'

puesto 'put-past participle'

pusiste 'You put'

puso 'she/he/it put'

pusimos 'we put'

pusisteis 'you put'

pusieron 'they put' (Clahsen et al., 2002, p. 596)

Also as explained in Clahsen et al. (2002, p. 598), regarding this particular verb, the obvious irregularity of this paradigm evidently affects the root: pus--in the past pues--in the participle.

Furthermore, irregular stems may lack a TV, as evidenced in puse, puso, and puesto wherein the 1st and 3rd singular have the irregular inflectional endings--e and--o, instead of the regular ones---i,---io, and the past participle ends in--to, instead of the regular--ido, which includes the TV (Clahsen et al, 2002, p. 596).

Moreover, irregular 1st singular and 3rd singular past forms and past participle forms bear stress on the root rather than on the TV, as is the case with in regularly inflected forms (i.e., puse 'I put past' vs comi 'I eat past'; Clahsen et al., 2002, p. 596).

The remaining forms of the paradigm above (poner) combine the irregular root puswith regular endings; the 2nd singular past indicative form pus-iste, for example, has the same theme vowel--i--and the same inflectional ending--ste as the corresponding form of a regular 2nd conjugation verb such as comer 'to eat' (Clahsen et al., 2002, p. 596).

5. Acquisition of Spanish verb morphology

A) Non-finite forms

Initial studies on the acquisition of verb morphology in Romance languages based on spontaneous language transcripts have revealed no evidence of Root Infinitives per se, as very few forms of non-finite verb forms have been reported. What was evidenced was "adults reading child language transcripts full of verbs that did not occur with overt subjects ... [although] it was never totally clear whether a verb agreed with its intended (null) subject or not" (Pratt & Grinstead, 2007, p. 351). Nonetheless, according to Pratt and Grinstead (2007), third person singular forms can be nonfinite in child Spanish, Italian, and Catalan, given that verbs of this phonological form can be nonfinite in the adult language; specifically, 2nd person singular imperatives, which are intrinsically nonfinite, occur in the exact same form as third person, singular present indicative verbs: corre (run-2nd, sg., imperative; "run") and corre (run-3rd, sg., indicative "(He, she, it) is running./(He/she/it) runs."). As these two authors argue, "If the adult version of Spanish tends to use bare stem forms to represent verbs which are semantically unspecified for tense (emphasis added), as in imperatives, or are impervious to agreement marking, as in impersonals, then it is plausible, prima facie, that bare stems are a good candidate for being nonfinite forms in child language" (Pratt & Grinstead, 2007, p. 352). Actually, when looking at child Spanish spontaneous production data, Grinstead (1998) found examples of bare stem forms occurring with overt subjects which are not 3rd person; this confirms that bare stem forms are a possibility for child Spanish grammars (e.g., es yo ; va yo; yo quiere hacerlo). Similar examples have been reported in Hernandez-Pina (1984); Radford and Ploennig-Pacheco (1995); Davidiak and Grinstead (2004); Clahsen et al. (2002); Liceras, Bel, and Perales (2006); Buesa (2006).

Elicited production studies such as Perez-Pereira (1989) and Kernan and Blount (1966) have likewise shown that children produce few, if any, uninflected verbs forms, although others evidence verb forms that could be interpreted as Root Infinitives. For instance, Perez-Pereira (1989) asked children to change verbs into 3rd person past (preterit) and found that children made large numbers of errors namely, 32% at age 3, 64% at age 4, 71% at age 5, and 78% at age 6. She found relatively improved results with real verbs, namely 48% in the 3 year olds, 74% in the 4 year olds, 73% in the 5 year olds, and 76% in the 6 year olds.

Pratt and Grinstead (2007) applied grammaticality judgment tasks to a group of 15 monolingual Spanish-speaking Mexican children whose mean age was 5;1. Overall, children provided correct grammaticality judgments 72,5% of the time to constructions such as ustedes pintar and yo quiere una galleta. The children accepted non-finite forms as grammatical and judged finite forms as ungrammatical, however, on average 27% of the time.

Grinstead, De la Mora, Vega Mendoza, and Flores (2009) also studied whether Spanish monolingual children evidence an OI stage; they relied on an elicited production task. Their study included 38 Spanish-speaking monolingual children from Mexico with a mean age of 5;1. The study yielded non-adult like forms, namely 33% of 2nd/3rd plural present (comen), 26% of progressive participle forms (comiendo), 23% bare stem forms (come), 10% 2nd singular present forms (comes) 5% 1st singular present (como), and 3% 1st singular past (comi). Of these nontarget-like forms, bare forms and progressive participles were interpreted by the researchers as possible OI forms. Similarly, Grinstead et al. (2009) studied further evidence for an OI stage by means of a grammaticality choice task. The study included 22 Spanish monolinguals (a subgroup from the previous study) with a mean age of 5;2. The results from that study were also taken as evidence of an OI stage.

In sum, early child Spanish indicates a stage parallel to the RI stage described for child speech in Germanic languages. Furthermore, as evidence of the complexity in the Spanish verb inflectional system, Spanish verb forms exhibit a regular/irregular distinction for both stem formation and inflectional suffixation.

B) Patterns in children's regular and irregular verb forms

The extent to which inflected forms are stored in the brain as independent lexical items has been explained in terms of single-mechanism models under which regular and irregular word forms are said to "employ the same representational and processing mechanisms and that generalizations in children's use of inflected word forms follow from the formation of patterns between existing word forms" (Clahsen et al., 2002, p. 3; based on Bybee, 1995; Elman, Bates, Johnson, Karmiloff-Smith, Parisi & Plunkett, 1996; Langacker, 2000). Following from this assumption, English speaking children over-regularize ed--markings to form the past tense simply because they have heard it used in many different English verbs in their input. As stated within a connectionist single-mechanism model (see Plunkett & Marchman, 1996, for example), high frequency morphological forms such as--ed are reinforced more in the input, yielding "a strong pattern with a relatively high level of resting activation compared to irregulars, making them more accessible than irregulars and hence more likely to appear in over-regularizations" (Clahsen et al, 2002, p. 3).

Another account for children's over-regularization of inflectional forms is referred to as the dual-mechanism hypothesis under which it is assumed that "regular and irregular inflection are dissociated in children's grammars in basically the same way as is claimed for the adult grammar, involving two distinct [emphasis added] representational systems, a set of lexical entries that are (associatively) listed in memory, and a set of symbolic operations or rules to form larger linguistic expressions" (Clahsen et al., 2002, p. 592; based on reviews by Clahsen, 1999 and Pinker, 1999). This assumption accounts for children's over-regularization of past tense markings, for example, which in English yields non-target like forms such as *goed until children are able to retrieve the correct irregular form consistently, namely went. (1)

Several studies have additionally reported on Spanish monolingual children's overregularization of verb inflections. Firstly, based on naturalistic data by 2 children between 9 months and 2;6 years of age, Mueller-Gathercole, Sebastian, and Soto (1999) report that regular inflectional patterns were over-applied to verbs that are irregular in adult Spanish. They highlight that over-regularization errors were not evidenced until after the children started to use the regular rule productively and contrastively.

Similarly, based on speech samples by 42 monolingual Spanish-speaking children ages 2;0 to 4;0, Johnson (1995) found a total of 100 inflectional errors. For example, in some cases children incorrectly used 1st conjugation forms instead of 2nd or 3rd conjugation forms, as in *rompo instead of rompio 's/he/it broke', *caiba instead of caia 'I fell'. A second error type reported consisted of the use of regular 2nd or 3rd conjugation forms for a verb that required an irregular 2nd or 3rd conjugation form, as in *poni instead of puse 'I placed'. In sum, in all cases, the children used the wrong root for an irregular verb. This author did not report any irregularization errors (i.e. over-applications of irregular 2nd or 3rd conjugation forms to regular verbs).

Radford and Ploennig-Pacheco (1995) identified three types of errors in the speech by Spanish monolingual child ages 2;2 to 2;8: 1) morphological errors in which the child produced a regular affix and/or a regular stem form for a verb that requires an irregular form, as in *pusi instead of puse 'I put-past'; 2) conjugation class errors in which the child incorrectly inflected a 2nd or 3rd conjugation verb according to the 1st conjugation, as in *abre instead of abri 'I opened'); 3) over-applications of 3rd singular forms in contexts that require 1st, 2nd singular or plural forms, as in *?Tu presta tus monedas? 'Can you lend me your coins?'). Radford and Ploennig-Pacheco argue that all these errors evidence the replacement of specific or irregular forms with default forms.

Serrat and Aparici (1999) studied longitudinal data which included 5 monolingual Catalan-speaking children, 2 monolingual Spanish-speaking and 3 bilingual Catalan/Spanish children ranging between 1;7 and 3;0 years of age. They report agreement errors and overregularization; whereas agreement errors apparently tended to occur even in the earliest data sets, over-regularization errors were evidenced later in development. They also note that in most agreement errors, a 3rd singular present form is used instead of some other grammatical person and/or number (this is also what was reported in Radford and Ploennig-Pacheco, 1995).

Finally, Clahsen et al. (2002) analyzed verb inflections by 15 Spanish monolingual children ages 1;7 to 4;7 extracted from longitudinal and cross-sectional spontaneous speech and narratives. They report dissociation between regular and irregular verb forms in that regular suffixes and unmarked (non-alternating) stems are over-extended to irregular forms, but not the other way around. Additionally, over-regularization errors comprise only a small portion of these children's irregular verb forms and that, just as reported in Mueller-Gathercole et al. (1999), the period before over-regularizations is characterized by a stage that is errorfree; the onset of over-regularizations coincides with the emergence of obligatory finiteness markings. Clahsen et al. account for these patterns in terms of the dual-mechanism model of inflection, as it postulates clear regular-irregular dissociations.

In this study, we follow the proposal by Clahsen et al. (2002), and we entertain a dualmechanism model to account for the patterns observed in the acquisition of early verb forms in Spanish; specifically, we expect to find evidence of a regular/irregular asymmetry with respect to both stem formation and inflectional affixation. In other words, regular patterns, whether they be stems or inflectional affixes, should over-generalize to irregular items, whereas generalizations of irregular patterns to regular verbs should be rare or non-existent. Additionally, we thoroughly analyze possible additional patters in Spanish monolingual children's use of verb forms in naturalistic speech.

6. Data collection method

Data for this study were extracted from a larger data base collected by the researcher and which included spontaneous speech by 40 monolingual Spanish speaking Costa Rican children ages 3;5 to 5;6. The data were obtained through audio-recorded sessions of free play interactions between the researcher and each child at public pre-schools and CENs (Centros de Nutricion; public day care centers) in the Western Region (San Ramon, Palmares, Naranjo, Zarcero y Grecia couties). All sessions were later fully transcribed by the researcher with the help of a trained assistant. The data set analyzed in this article included 15 children (7 girls and 8 boys); a total of 54 sessions were analyzed; 3.6 recordings per child. The study was crosssectional in that, data from a number of children were collected at various points in time; it shall be pointed out, nonetheless, that even when cross-sectional data allows us to look at language at those various times and such data provides us with interesting results, a longitudinal study would more accurately show the process of acquisition of any given morpho-syntactic process.

Specifically, each child's total number of verb constructions (i.e., tokens) was extracted by hand, including the context in which each occurred to establish its appropriateness in terms of verb tense, person, and number. Initially, the quantitative analysis was based on the total number of verb types, not on tokens; that is, each occurrence of a new verb form was entered into a list for further analysis (See appendix A which lists all verbs and their conjugations across the data examined). Once all verb types were identified per child in all 54 sessions, the patterns found were determined and further analysis was conducted regarding regular and irregular verb forms.

7. Data Analysis

Overall, a total 233 verb types were found and these were distributed as follows:

154 verbs ending in--ar

51 verbs ending in--er

28 verbs ending in--ir

Upon examining all the examples listed for each verb type (i.e., the various conjugations per verb), a series of interesting patters which did not necessarily relate to gender agreement were evidenced, namely:

1. Phonological errors: some of the errors (16) included substitutions of complex sounds (i.e., sounds involving difficulty in articulation; e.g.; *tapal--tapar; 'cover.inf.'; *contandole--cortandole '') as well as elision mainly in complex consonant clusters (e.g., *quecieron--crecieron; ', *dale--darle; 'give.inf.him/her'). As can be seen, the errors were identified in regular as well as in irregular verbs, but tense and person conjugations were always correct.

2. Number agreement errors: some of the errors identified constituted omission of plural morphological markings (a total of 13 examples), as in:

1. abrir: *abramolo (abramoslo;; let's open it)

2. quebrar: *se me quebio (quebro) mis pompis (se me quebraron mis pompis; my butt cheeks; I broke my butt cheeks)

3. faltar: *le falta las alas (le faltan las alas; miss IND. COMP.he wings; it is missing its wings)

4. poder: *se puede caer las personas (se pueden caer las personas; may fall the people; the people may fall)

5. *la biuja puee volan (las brujas pueden volar; witches.generic can fly.inf; witches can fly)

Interestingly, 2 examples evidenced the inappropriate use of a plural marker with singular nouns:

6. *este son dinosaurios (este es un dinosaurio; this dinosaur; this is a dinosaur)

7. *habian un hueco (habia un hueco; a hole; there was a hole)

Here too, errors involved regular and irregular verbs.

3. Errors in the use of clitic pronouns: twenty five (25) examples were identified in which the children seemed to struggle with the use of the appropriate clitic pronouns, as evidenced in word order errors, omission errors, and errors in which unnecessary clitic pronouns were added, as shown in the following examples:

8. carear: *no se carean (no se le carean; no REFL.le. get cavities; they do not get cavities)

9. golpear: *se le golpearon la nariz (le golpearon la nariz; DIR.OBJ.hit.past.3rd. pl. the nose; somebody hit his/her nose)

10. sentir: *siente como es (sientase como es; sit.REFL as you know; sit right)

11. esperar: *no (es)peraron a el (no lo esperaron; not IND.OBJ.; they did not wait for him)

12. gustar: *le gusta el de esto te? (te gusta el de esto?; You the one of this?; do you like this one?)

13. morir: *se me le murio (se me murio; REF. me died; it died)

14. ir: *va a tata a comese a el (va a tartar de comerselo a el; is going to try to eat. REFL.him; he/she/it is going to try to eat him)

Clitics are described as a set of features which denote number, gender, person, and case (Cuervo, 2002), and Spanish has a large set of clitics, namely, verb objects (direct objects, as in lo tengo 'it I'' and indirect objects, as in le digo que venga 'him/her I tell to come') and non-objects (reflexive se, as in se lava 'itself washes', reciprocal se, as in se quieren 'each other they love', impersonal se, as in se come bien 'you.impersonal eat well', middle-passive sentences se, as in se venden estas casas 'are for sale, these houses', and lexical aspect se, as in se comio la sopa 'he/she/it has already eaten the soup' (Examples taken from Simon-Cerejido & Gutierrez-Clellen, 2007, pp. 319-320).

Clitics are also referred to as weak pronouns, and they are described in Fujino and Sano (2002) as "unstressed elements that attach to a host verb and serve a pronominal function" (p. 71); this is true at least for enclitics (i.e., clitic pronouns which attach to the end of a verb, as in digame, deselo

Regarding the acquisition of clitics, Muller and Hulk (2001) and Simon-Cerejido and Gutierrez-Clellen (2007), report that their use in child speech may vary depending on the amount of exposure, as clitics are optional in some language dialects and children might not evidence them in their speech.

However, there is little consensus on this; for instance, Grinstead (2000), Dominguez (2003) and Lopez-Ornant (1994) observe that clitics are used correctly from the beginning, whereas Fujino and Sano (2002) report that clitics are initially absent or infrequent in early child Spanish, but that at a certain point, there is a clear increase in children's use of clitics, and they become productive. Grinstead further adds that Spanish monolingual children do not commit errors of commission (exchanging an accusative clitic for a dative clitic, for example) and rarely evidence omission errors. He additionally points out that in early Spanish, imperative verb forms occur to the left of clitics (e.g., dame ''), whereas finite verbs occur to the right of clitics (e.g., la pone aqui 'it put here'). Torrens and Wexler (1996) point out that children rarely make clitic placement errors with both finite and non-finite verbs. Finally, Lyczskowski (1999; cited in Torrens & Wexler, 1996) argues that malformed or misplaced clitics are rare in child Spanish.

These errors were not related to the regular-irregular dichotomy pointed out in Clahsen et al. (2002), and which constitutes the main focus of this study nor did they depend on verb endings, as they were identified in all types of verbs; yet they illustrate clear difficulties in the use of the correct clitic pronoun.

The main analysis in this article focuses on morphological agreement. Specifically, all non-target-like verb forms which lacked person agreement or tense agreement or which consisted of some type of over-regularization were examined (a total of 65; i.e., 28% of the total number of the examples analyzed). For this analysis, non-target-like verb forms were classified into the three verb types:--ar conjugation verbs,--er conjugation verbs, and--ir conjugation verbs. The analysis was conducted embracing the regular-irregular dichotomy pointed out by Clahsen et al. (2002). Explicitly, a total 23 errors in--ar type verbs were found, 29 errors in er--type verbs, and 13 errors in--ir type verbs were found, as illustrated in the information contained in the following table.

The Person Agreement errors identified consisted of conjugating a verb with the wrong person marking, as in:

15. aprender: *yo aprendio (I learn. (yo aprendi; I learn.; I learned)

16. comer: *se comio (REFL (se comieron; REFL eat.

17. hacer: *no hace a los mostros asi (not to the monsters like this) (no le haga(s) a los monstrous asi; not to the monsters like this; don't do that to the monsters)

18. tener: *la tiene miedo (DIR.OBJ. have. fear) (le tienen miedo); DIR.OBJ. have. fear; it/he/she is afraid of him/her/it)

The Tense errors are illustrated in the following examples:

19. haber: *no hay merienda (not be.pres snack) (no hubo merienda; not be.past snack.; there is no snack)

20. sentir: *sintieramos ( (sentiamos;; we felt)

21. agarrar: *me agarra (DAT. (me agarro; DAT.; it grabs me)

Finally, as seen in Table 1 above, it is clear that the majority of non-target-like verb forms identified consisted of over-regularizations, just as has been reported in previous studies (e.g., Clahsen et al, 2002; Johnson, 1995; Mueller-Gathercole et al, 1999; Radford & Ploenning-Pacheco, 1995). With--ar type verbs, the following examples were identified:

With Regular Verbs:

22. despertar: *me desperti (me desperte; REFL wakeup.past; I woke up)

23. golpear: *si se golpi (si se golpea; if it; if it gets hurt)

24. *me golpi (me golpee; REFL; I hurt myself)

25. levantar: *me levanti (me levante; REFL; I got up)

26. montar: *me munte (me monte; REFL; I got on)

27. quebrar: *se quiebro (se quebro; it.REFL; it broke)

28. *quiebrar (quebrar; break.INF; break)

Interestingly, except for one, all the errors involving--ar type verbs consisted of ir-regularization of regular verbs; specifically, irregular rules were applied to regular verbs. For instance, in examples 22-26 above, all of which constitute regular verbs, the children used a conjugation which applies to irregular--er type verbs (e.g., comer-comi; beber-bebi). Previous studies mainly report on over-regularization of verbs whereby a regular rule is applied to irregular verbs (e.g., Clahsen et al., 2002), not the other way around.

With Irregular Verbs:

29. volar: *volan (vuelan;; fly)

30. *vola (vuela;; flies)

31. calentar: *las calientaron (las calentaron; DIR.OBJ.; heat up)

All the examples with--er type verbs involved irregular verbs, namely: (17)

31. caber: *no cabo (not; I don't fit) (no quepo; I do not fit)

33. conocer: *no conozo (no conozco; not; I do not know; I do not know)

34. doler: *le dolaba (le dolia; REF; it hurt; it hurt)

35. haber: *ha visto (he visto; seen; I have seen; I have seen)

36. hacer:* hacio (hizo;; he/she/it has done; has done)

37. *hacieron (hicieron;; they have done; did)

38. llover: *lluver (llover; rain.INF; to rain; rain)

39. *lluvio (llovio;; it rained)

40. poner: *pona (ponga; put.INF; put)

41. *ponieron (pusieron;; they put)

42. *ponimos (pusimos;; we put)

43. *ponemolos (pongamoslos;; lets put them)

44. *me pono (me pongo; REFL; I put on)

45. tener: *teno (tengo; have; I have)

46. *tene (tiene;; he/sheit has)

47. traer: *trai (traje;; I brought)

48. *trajio (trajo;; he/sheit brought)

49. saber: *sabo (se;; I know)

All of these examples evidence that rules which normally apply to regular verbs such as adding--i to indicate past tense in the first person singular (e.g., comi eat.1st-sg-past) were over-regularized onto irregular verbs.

Finally, one non-target-like verb form identified in the data consisted of a made up verb. Specifically, a student uttered the verb *quietar to mean estar/quedarse quieto (to stay still); she even conjugated this made up verb in the 1st person (*me quieto; me quedo quieta). In order to express this idea, a phrasal verb is used in Spanish. What this example evidences is the child's over-generalization of the infinitive verb form, namely, adding--ar to a base; in this case, however, the base form quieto is an adjective and not a verb, resulting in a violation of the morphological rule for infinitive formation.

Overall, the data analysis yielded six patterns in these children's non-target-like verbs forms:

1. Pronunciation errors: errors in which portions of various verb forms were either deleted or substituted by less articulatorily complex sounds.

2. Number agreement errors: errors in which plural morphemes were omitted or, in a few cases, verb forms which were pluralized despite being singular.

3. Errors in the use of clitic pronouns: errors in the placement of clitic pronouns, omission or clitic pronouns, or inappropriate use of clitic pronouns.

4. Incorrect use of person and tense agreement, mainly with irregular verb forms.

5. Regularization of verb forms by adding regular conjugation morphemes to irregular verbs, a pattern found in the majority of the non-target-like forms documented.

6. Ir-regularization of regular verbs by using morphological rules that only apply to irregular verbs.

8. Conclusions and Recommendations

This study was designed to examine patterns in the acquisition of verb morphology by a group of fifteen Spanish monolingual children aged 3,6 to 5,6. The hypothesis entertained was that proposed by Clahsen et al. (2002) whereby children's verb forms were expected to evidence a clear regular/irregular asymmetry with respect to both stem formation and inflectional affixation. In other words, regular verb patterns were expected to over-generalize to irregular verbs, whereas generalizations of irregular patterns to regular verbs were expected to be rare. In addition to looking at this regular-irregular verb asymmetry, the study was designed to identify any additional patterns in these children's use of verb forms.

In sum, the study mostly supports the premises under the dual-mechanism hypothesis proposed by Clahsen et al. (2002), given that these children clearly regularized irregular verb forms, while significantly fewer examples of ir-regularization of regular verbs were identified. Specifically, whereas 81,57% of the examples involving overgeneralization occurred with irregular verbs with which children used rules that normally apply to regular verb forms, only the remaining 18,42% of the overgeneralizations consisted of irregular forms used with regular verbs. It is somewhat surprising, nonetheless, that despite the prediction that irregularization of regular verbs would be rare, the number of examples involving this odd pattern is not as scant, as one might have predicted. In my opinion, this supports the more general fact that the acquisition of the so complex Spanish verb conjugation system results in confusion, even for native speakers, as they appear to test out the verb conjugation rules present in their input (i.e., predictable rules for regular verbs alongside non-predictable rules for irregular verbs). It is not surprising then, to find instances of both types of overgeneralizations. As a final implication of this study, one could foresee a higher rate of irregularization of regular verb forms in nonnative Spanish.

Dra. Luz Marina Vasquez. Universidad de Costa Rica. Sede de Occidente. Directora del Departamento de Filosofia, Artes y Letras. Docente de Seccion de Lenguas Modernas. Costa Rica.

Correo electronico:

Recepcion: 17-02-2016

Aceptacion: 06-03-2016


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Appendix A: List of all verb types found in the overall data

Children's verb forms, both regular and irregular, are listed in alphabetical order. All non-target-like forms are italicized for easy recognition; the correct form is provided in parenthesis for each verb form.

abrazar: abrazame

abrir: abramo(s)lo; abrir; abrio; le abrio; abre; abren; abra; abren

aburrir: me aburro; abria

acabar: se ha acabado; se acabo

acercar: se me acerco

acomodar: acomodando;

acordar(se): me acuerdo

acostar: se acosto

adivinar: adivine

agarrar: tenia que agarrarlo; agarraba; agatho (agarro); agallo (agarro); me agarra (me agarro); agarre; lo agarra; agarrar; le agarro

ahogar: ahogando; se ahogo; que nos ahogue

alcanzar: alcanza

alimentar: alimentando

aliviar: se aliviara

almorzar: almorzar

alzar: alzando a el (alzandolo); lo alzo

amar: la amo; me ames

amarrar: amallamos (amarramos)

andar: estan andando; anda; andaba

aparecer: aparece; aparecio;

apear: se lo apea

aplastar: aplasto

aprender: yo aprendio (aprendi)

apretar: apreto

armar: armamos; arme

arrancar: se llancaron (arrancaron); rancandose (arrancandose)

arrugar: se arrugo

asar: se aso

asustar: asusta; se asustaron; la asusto

atorar: se me atoro

atrapar: la atrapo; lo atrapo; atapal (atrapar); atapa (atrapar); athapalo (atraparlo); atrapar; me at(r)apaba

ayudar: ayudar; le ayuda; ayudarle; para que le ayuden

bailar: bailando; bailemos; a bailar; bailaron

bajar: baja; se baja; baje

banar: banar; banandose; me bane; lo bana

barrer: ballendo (barriendo)

besar: se besan

botar: bota

brillar: brilla brincar: brincando

buscar: busca; busquemos; bucamos otro (busquemos otro); buscar; busque;

caer: se cayo; se cae; cayendo; no se me caela (caera); se le cayo; caise (se van a caer); se va caen (caer); no me va dejar de caen (no me vas a dejar caer); me caigo; se le cayo; se caen; me cai; mi cai; cayendo

caber: cabe; no cabe, no cabo (quepo)

cagar: se cago

calentar: las calientaron (las calentaron)

cambiar: nos cambiamos; cambiaron; cambio; cambiar; cambiemos

caminar: camino; camina; camine

cansar: me canso

cantar: cantando; la cierran; cantamos; cantarles

carear: no se carean (no se le carean)

casar: casar; casarse

cerrar: cerrando; cocina(r)la

chocar: choco; se choca

chupar: el perro va a chupa a el (lo va a chupar); me chupo

cocinar: cocinando; cocina

cobijar: me cobijo

coger: cojan; cojo; la cogio; coguemos (cojemos); coja; cojo; coger

comenzar: comenzamos

comer: comieron; se la comio; se comio (se comieron); no me como comidita; se come; se la comen; come; se lo comen; se comen; coman; comen; comia; como; se la come; que se la coma; me comi; para pomesela (comersela); pomer (comer); comiendo; se lo comio; no(s) la comimos; comersela; se comieron; a comer; comendose (comiendose); te comi; (se) lo esta comiendo; para come(r)los; comiendo(se) el hueso; comemos; se comio; se la comieron; comiendoselas; comiendosela; lo comimos; se comio; se come; comerse

compartir: compartir

comprar: me compro; compraron; me lo compraron; me las compro; compra

conocer: la conoce?; no conozo (no conozco); yo lo conozo (lo conozco)

construir: construir; costuimos (construimos); const(r)uyendo

contar (tell): contando; cuenta; me lo cuenta; cuento; le cuento; conte; se lo cuento

convertir: se convierte; se van convirtiendo; se convirtieron; se ponvierte (se convierte); se convertieron (se convirtieron); lo convertio (convirtio)

correr: corrio; corre; cothiendo (corriendo); cothi (corri); collen (corren); cothen (corren); coviendo (corriendo); collendo (corriendo) ; corriendo

cortar: se lo cuento; contarle; las cortamos; contarles; se corto; para cortar a el (para cortarlo); se corto; corta; contandole las unas (cortandole las unas); la cortamos

creer: creo

crecer: quecieron (crecieron); queciendo (creciendo) cumplir (anos): cumplia; cumpli; voy a cumplir

curar: se le curio (curo)

dar: le damos; doy; les di; nos da; me da miedo; no se dio cuenta; le dieron; me dan; daban; les da; le dan; le de frio; le da miedo; da(r)le; deme

deber: debo sacar

decidir: decidi

decir: le diga; digo; dije; digale; dijo; le dicen; no me dijo; le dijo; uno dice; se dice; le dijeron; le dijio; diciendo; dijieron; dice; la mama ijo (les dijo); le dicen; dicir (decir);

dejar (dar permiso): no lo (d)ejan (no la dejan) jugar; deja; no me dijio (dijo); digamos; no me deja; lo deje; la dejo; dejo

dejar (stop): no deja de llorar; dejaron; dejaba; la dejan

dejar (leave): lo dejaron amallao (amarrado)

derretir: se rerritio (derritio); se derrite; se derritio

desaparecer: desaparecio

desmayar: se de(s)mayo

despedazar: despedazaron

despegar: despego

despertar: me desperte; me desperti (me desperte)

destruir: (d)estruyamos; destruyamos

dibujar: dibujar

disfrazar: se disfrazan; se disfraza; disfrazarse

disparar: para disparar

divorciar: se divorciaron

doler: le dolaba (le dolia)

dormir: se durmio (durmieron); estaba dormio (dormido); se durmieron; me dormi duermo; el perro dormia (estaba durmiendo); dormir; buermase (duermase)

echar: estaban echando; estaban echandole; se la echo; lo echan; le eche; le echan; echo; lo echo; echa (leche); echan; echemo(s)le; le echo; echa(r)me

enamorar: se enamoro

encantar: me encanta esos dos (me encantan)

encender: aprender la luz (encender)

encerrar: se encetho (encerro)

enfriar: enfriar

encoger: me encojo

encontrar: encontre; me encontre; me encoltle; me lo encontle; enconte; encontro; encuentra; se encontro

enfadar: se enfa(d)aba

enojar: se enoja

ensenar: le enseno; ensenarlos (ensenarnos); nos enseno; ensenalos (ensenarnos)

ensuciar: se ensucia

entender: entendio

entrar: entro, le puede entrar; entre

escapar: se escapo

escoger: escoger

esconder: me escondo; se esta escondiendo; escondan; escondio; escondio (se escondio)

escribir: no se esquibrir (escribir)

escuchar: para escuchar; escucho; se escucha; se escucho; escuche

espantar: lo espantan; se lo panto (lo espanto)

esperar: no peraron a el (no lo esperaron); esperando; espere; espele (espere)

estar: estaban abuthidos; esta necia (es necia); estaba; estabamos haciendo; esta; estamos armando; estoy; esta adivinando; estan; estoy compartiendo; se esta cayendo; eso estan; como si me estuvieran; se la estan comiendo

estirar: estillaron (estiraron)

extranar: te extranamos

faltar: me falta; faltan; le falta(n) las alas; falta; le falta; falta

ganar: gano; ganandole

golpear: me compie (golpee); me gopi; me golpie; si se golpe (si se golpea); se le golpearon la nariz (le golpearon); se golpea;

grabar: podemos agrabar; los grabamos; lo grabamos; grabo; se graba; nos graba?

gritar: grita; no grite; gritando

guardar: los guardamos; guarde; guardar

guindar: guindemonos

gustar: me gusta; me gustan; le gusta; me gusta(n) las culebras; me gustaria; me gustaba; le gusta el de esto te? (te gusta el de esto?)

hablar: no hablo; hablar, hablo; hablaba; hable; hablando

haber: hay; habia; habian; eramos visto mapaches (hemos); yo ha visto (he visto); un dia que no hay merienda (hubo); habian un hueco (habia); he visto; he tocado

hacer: hicieron; hizo; hacio; no me hace; hace; hago; haciendo; hagalo; te hago; hizu; hagamos; haga; hacen; hacemos; lo hizo; hacian; estoy haciendo; hice; se hizo; hicimos; me hacen; hacieron; hacerle; le hizo; le hago a los mostos (les hago a los monstruos); no hace a las motos asi (no les haga a las motos asi); hacio (hizo); se hicieron; asi se hace colochos (se hacen); se le hizo; hiciellon (hicieron); no se los hacio (no se los hizo)

halar (jalar): jala (hala); jalo

hundir: para que no se hunda (para que no se hundiera)

invitar: lo invite

ir (going): me van a hacer; la voy a invitar; le va a pegar; van a hacer; me voy a mudar; voy a pintar; voy a hacer; va a ser; voy a co(n)struir; voy a terminar; va a acostarse; va a enganar; se lo iba a comer; se le va a mojar las pompis; iba ir (to go): ir; id (ir); venir; juelon (fueron); se fueron; vayar; fui; se fue; se jue (fue); vamos; va; van; voy; iba; nos vamos; vamos; fue; va; vino; fueron; andaban; se va; te voy; irme; vete; me fui; se va; se fue; no se vaya; que se vayan (que se fueran); fuimos jugar: estabamos jugando; juguemos; jugamos; jugaron; juega; jugar; se juega juntar: juntemos

lavar: la lavo; le lava; la lava; lavandose; lavando; lavarse; lavar

leer: leyendo

levantar: se levanto; me levanti

limpiar: limpiando

llamar (nombre): se llama; se llamaba; se llaman; lo llamaron

llegar: llegaron; llegue

llevar: se lo llevaba; llevar; le llevo; se lo llevo; llevan; lo lleve; llevarlos; se lo llevo; llevandose; se llevo

llorar: lloro; llora; lloramos; llolando (llorando); llorando; lloraron; lloraba; y yo llorando (llore; estaba llorando); llonan (llorar)

llover: esta lloviendo; iba a lluver; lluvio (llovio);

mandar: nos mando

majar: la majamos

marear: me mareo

matar: matar; que los maten; la mato; matala (matarla); lo mataron; lo mato

mecer: meciendose; nos mecemos; se mecio

medir: mide

meter: meter; metemos; se mete; se metan; los meten; que se metan; se metio; se (me) metio esto (en la pierna); te metas

mezclar: lo mezclo; mezclemo(s)los

mirar: milen (miren); mile (mire); mire; miren; mira

mojar: se moja; se le moja; mojamos

molestar: le gusta molestar; me molestan

montar(se): montar; me monte; que me munte (que me monte); montarse; me monto morder: lo muelden (muerden); estaba mordiendo; muerden; lo va a morder; el va a moldela (la va a morder); me mordio; muerde

morir: se mueren; esta muerta; se murio; se le murio; se morio (murio); se me le murio (se murio)

mover: se esta moviendo; mueve

nadar: nado; nadan; na(d)ando

nacer: no nacio

necesitar: necesito; lo necesito

oir: oigo; se oye; oilo (oirlo); oigan

oler: huele; guelen (huelen); huelo

olvidar: se me olvido; se me esta olvidando

ordenar: ordenela

palear: palando (paleando)

parar: pararon; uno tiene que pararse; no se paraban

parecer: se parece; parece

partir (cut): la parte

pasar: pasan; pasa; paso; pasemos; me paso

pasear: pasear

patear: la patio (pateo); patiar (patear); casi patio el hueco (casi patea); casi me pateaba la pancita (casi me patea)

pedir: pedi; pidiendo; le pedi; pedir; le pidi (pedi)

pegar (golpear): le pego; estaban pegando; pegarle; me pega; pegue

pegar (glue): se pego; se le pega

peinar: se peinaron; peinando; peinarse

pelear: pelean; pelando (peleando)

pensar: pensaron

perder: se perdio; se le perdio; se pierde; perder (uno se puede perder); se pierde (se pierda); perdio

pesar: pesaba; me pesan; peso; peso

pescar: pescando

picar: pica; para nadie lo piquen (lo pique)

pintar: pinte; pinta; pintemos; pintarte; pintamos; pinto; le pinto; no pintan; pintando; le pinto

poder: podieron; podemos ver; no se la podia comer; puede ser; poemos (podemos); las puedo; me puedo; no podemos; muchas cosas que se puede(n) comer; puedo; se puede caer las personas (se pueden); no se puede; no pueden hacerlo; puede traer; me puede prestar; no lo pudo atrapar

poner: estan poniendo; me pongo; pondamola (pongamosla); ponieron; pongo; se le pone; pongalo; ponimos; pongamonos; pone; se ponieron a morder (pusieron); pon(r) selo; ponemolos; yo me pono; se puso; pongale; ponga; pona (ponga); poniendoselos; se pone; pongamos; ponerse; pongalo; pongase; se pone; le ponemos; pone; se lo puse

prestar: presta

probar: probo

proponer: le propuso

proteger: las protegia

quebrar: se les quebro; se quebro; se quiebro (quebro); se esta quebrando; se me quebio mis pompis (se me quebraron); quiebrar (quebrar)

quedar: el que se queda; se quedo; quee (quede); me queda; se queda; quedo; se quedaron; se le quedo

quemar: quemo

querer: quiero que regrese; quieres jugar; no quiere usar; queria comer; se querian; le quiere comer la comida (se le quiere); quiero oir; quiero oirlo; quiso comerse; quelo hacen (quiero hacer); lo querian; quieres casarse conmigo? (quieres casarte); me queria; no quiso

quitar: le quito; quitarle; me quitaron; le quito; le quita; quitandole; no me quite; quite (la mano); le quitaron; quitarse; se quito; quitando

*quietar (quedarse quieto): me quieto

raspar: me llaspe (raspe)

recoger: los llecojo (recojo); a recogerme; recogerlo

recordar: no me acuerdo

reganar: lo lleganan (reganan); los reganan

regar: para thegar (regar); thegando (regando)

regresar: regresa aqui; no llegueso (regreso)

reir: se rieron

repartir: theparto (reparto)

resbalar: me resbale; thebalan (resbalan); se le vesbalo (resbalo)

rescatar: (r)escata; rescatar

resultar: resulta

revolver: llevolvemos (revolvemos)

romper: se llompe (rompe); se llompio (rompio)

roncar: roncando;

saber (to know): sabe? ; no se; ya se; sabe contuir (construir); no me lo sabo; me se; saben?; yo sabo; no puedo saber

saber (taste): le sabia

sacar: sacar; saco; lo saque; no me sacan; y papi sacandome el pie (me saco el pie); lo sacaron; lo sacamos

salir: salio; sale; les salio; salen; salgan; salio corriendo; para que no se salgan; salgo; me salo; sa(l)imos; se sale; salirme; me sali; me salio; se sale; se le sale

saltar: salto; saltan; salta

salvar: lo sa(l)va; las salva

seguir: sigo; seguir; salir; se le salio sangre (le salio sangre); sigue

sentar: nos sentamos; se sentaron; sientese; siente como es (sientese como es);

sentir: se siente; sentia; no sintieramos (no sentiriamos)

ser: son; era; es; eres; era; eran; este son (dinosaurios); son; fue; soy; somos; era de un chiquito que sea feliz (era); soy; seria

servir (be good for): sirve

sonar: suena

sonar: mi sone (me sone)

soplar: sopio (soplo); sopian (soplar)

sostener: sostener; sustenieron; otenga (sostenga); se sustenieron (se sostuvieron)

subir: subo; subir; sube; subame; se sube

tapar: me tapo

tener: tengo; ella tenia; tienes que usar; han tenido; tiene; tienen; tenemos; tuvieron; la tiene; tenemo(s); se tienen que; tiene; tuvo que comer (nos la tuvimos que comer); yo tenia; le tienen; teno; tene; tienen; hasta que la tenia que sacar (hasta que la tuve que sacar); tuvieran; (las viejas) le tiene (tienen) miedo; tenian

terminar: termino; termine; terminemos; termine; se termino

tirar: me tire; tira; se tiran; tirandose; la tiro; tiro; se tiro; tire

tocar: le toco; le toca; toca; me toca; tocando

tomar (intake): pala (para) tomar leche; toman; tomar; tomando; para tomarme

tomar (take): toma; tomeme una foto; tomemela ya

trabajar: a trabajas (trabajar); trabaja

traer: traer; se la tlajo (trajo); le trajo; lo tae (traen); traigo; las traje; le traia; no lo tai (traje); no traje; trae; lo trajo, lo trajio (lo trajo); trae; raer; traiga

tratar: trato de salvar; va a tata a comese a el (se lo va a tratar de comer)

tronar: esta lloviendo y trueno (esta lloviendo y tronando)

tomar: tomando

usar: use; uso

valer: no se vale

venir: vengo; vino; viene; venga; viniera; venia; vinio (vino)

ver: estaban viendo; vieron; vea; que no se vean; veo; vi; vealo; he visto; los he visto; ven; va a ver; vio?; velo (verlo); veia; viendolos; via (veia); vealos; vea yo (veame a mi); vio

vestir: me visto

vivir: viven; vive; vivia; vivieron

volar: no volaban; ellos volan; yo puede volar; volando; la buja puee vola (las brujas pueden volar); vuela; no vola (vuela); volo; no guela (vuela); vuelan; no volabas

volcar: se volco

volver: volvieron; me vuelvo

zafar: se me zafen; se me zafo
Table 1.
Number of errors according to verb-type in regular
and irregular verb forms

                             -ar type verbs

                             Regular   Irregular
                              verbs      verbs

Person agreement errors         1          0
Tense agreement errors          4          0
Over-generalization errors      7          3
Other error types               7          1
Total number of errors         23

                             -er type verbs

                             Regular   Irregular
                              verbs      verbs

Person agreement errors         3          6
Tense agreement errors          0          1
Over-generalization errors      0         18
Other error types               1          3
Total number of errors         29

                             -ir type verbs

                             Regular   Irregular
                              verbs      verbs

Person agreement errors         0          0
Tense agreement errors          1          2
Over-generalization errors      0         10
Other error types               0          0
Total number of errors         13
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:LINGUISTICA
Author:Marina Vasquez, Luz
Publication:Revista de Filologia y Linguistica de la Universidad de Costa Rica
Date:Jan 1, 2016
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