|Abstract:||Purpose: There are two approaches to researching input and its effects on a child’s acquisition of language: the dynamic approach and the timezero approach. The purpose of this study is to determine if the input rates of third person singular (3s) and contracted ‘s change as the child’s grammar grows, in almost a scaffolding effect. If it does, then a dynamic approach may be necessary in researching the input effects of contracted ‘s and 3s on the child’s rate of acquisition of the tense and agreement system.
Method: Nine parents of children from a longitudinal database (Rispoli & Hadley, 2008) were randomly chosen based on the Misalignment Score between each mother’s rate of 3s and ‘s. At 21, 24, and 27 months, each mother’s frequency of 3s and ‘s was computed.
Results: At all three ages, the average rate of 3s was less than 3% of total utterances made by parents. At 21 and 27 months, the rate of ‘s is 6 times more frequent than 3s. At 24 months, it was 4 times greater in the input than 3s. These distributions were shown to be different with no overlap, as ‘s is much more frequent than 3s. There was also no consistent change overtime for either the rate of 3s or ‘s.
Conclusion: The changes made by parents in the input are subtle, if any. The input is therefore not dynamic and can be looked at through a timezero approach.