Morphology of Nouns Among 2;3 To 5; 2-Year-Old Children Acquiring Kĩĩkamba In Makueni County, Kenya
Mwangangi, Eunice Wavinya
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Language acquisition is one of the developments that a typical child undergoes. Within their second year of life, Akamba children begin to produce simple forms of the language, for instance, lexical words. This occurs consistently as they develop until they are able to produce more complex forms. Thus, morphology, like any other linguistic level is developmental. By the time they get to 5; 2 years, they are more conversant with their surrounding and are able to express themselves competently. The current study focuses on the acquisition of Kĩĩkamba noun classes which are marked by grammatical morphemes. The target population was all Akamba speaking children aged between 2; 3-5; 2 years from a monolingual setting. The objectives of the study were; to identify the types of nominal in spoken Kĩĩkamba of 2; 3 – 5; 2 year old, to describe the morphology of the noun classes among Akamba speaking children aged 2; 3 to 5; 2 years and finally to explain the order of grammatical morpheme occurrence in the emerging language of 2; 3-5; 2 years children acquiring Kĩĩkamba. The study was guided by the Innatist theory proposed by Chomsky (1972) and the natural order hypothesis proposed by Krashen (1985). This study used a descriptive research design. The data were collected at Kiundwani Primary School, six respondents were involved in data collection. Due to the attention span of young children, the study adopted unstructured interview schedule. The collected data was analysed descriptively. To answer the first objective, the results of the nominals collected indicated that children had acquired various categories of nouns by the age of 5; 2 years. The findings further showed that number, one of the morphological features had been acquired. The respondents were able to assign plurals to singular nouns and this was gradually done. That is, the older children potrayed a good mastery of singulars and plurals when compared with the young ones. Finally, to respond to the third objective, the results showed that some of the grammatical morphemes were acquired earlier while others were acquired later on as development occurred. That is to say, a certain sequence is followed by Akamba speaking children when acquiring grammatical morphemes.