Differential competence in Somali: Evidence from the acquisition of noun definitization

Douglas Biber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper describes the results of an experiment designed to test the acquisition of the rule of noun definitization in Somali. It was originally assumed that the major factors involved would be cognitive, e.g., age or intellectual development, although the possibility of geographical dialects was considered. However the results indicate that none of these factors are relevant. Rather, it was found that: (1) a large percentage of the population never acquired parts of this rule at all, and (2) the major factor influencing this acquisition process is an urban vs. nomadic childhood home (which is representative of the extent of exposure to traditional oral literature).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-295
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psycholinguistic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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