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Frequency and Regularity in Language / שכיחות וסדירות בלשון: עיונים והשלכות

אורה רודריג-שורצולד and ORA (RODRIGUE) SCHWARZWALD
Studies in Education / עיונים בחינוך
H. 35 (חשון תשמ"ג — אוקטובר 1982), pp. 163-174
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23392707
Page Count: 12
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Frequency and Regularity in Language / שכיחות וסדירות בלשון: עיונים והשלכות
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Abstract

The relation between reularity and frequency in a language is paradoxical. Thus, non-frequent utterances demonstrate rule-governed regularity, whereas highly frequent ones do not. The irregularity of the frequently used forms appears in phonetic, grammatical, syntactic, and semantic features. This paradox poses a problem both to the child acquiring the native language and to the adult learning a second language. In the beginning, they are exposed to irregular frequent forms, and only later do they discover the grammatical regularity in the language. This discovery leads to mistaken overgeneralizations which must be corrected. This dilemma is especially acute in Hebrew, since it is an inflected language with many minor rules. The conclusion is that the learner must memorize the frequent forms without seeking any grammatical regularity in them. In this respect, Hebrew is not different than any other language.

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