Early Lexicon of the Yoruba Child

Bolanle Elizabeth Arokoyo


This paper examines the lexicon of the Yoruba child at the initial stage. We examined the composition of the early lexicon of the Yoruba child and how they are acquired. The research is couched in the Minimalist Programme which believes that language acquisition is a matter of learning vocabulary and determining lexical idiosyncrasies. A quantitative analysis of the data is carried out. The database consisted of longitudinal studies of three children, Damilare, Temiloluwa and Tola, between the ages of fifteen (15) and thirty-six (36) months. We found that there were few lexical items which were gradually built up by the children. We also discovered that the first sets of words to be acquired are verbal items, followed by nominal items. The presence of transitive and intransitive verbs is noted in the utterances of the children and we conclude that the children make use of verbs related to actions and events that they or those around them are involved in.



lexicon, minimalist programme, lexical items, verbal items, nominal items, verbs, mental dictionary, transitive, intransitive

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.5p.64


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