Voorspelvaardigheid van eentalige Nederlandse kleuters, op basis van grammaticaal geslacht van lidwoorden
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Previous research has shown that both Spanish adults and children can predict in language by incrementally combining information from speech to future words. Previous research showed that Spanish toddlers were able to use the grammatical gender of the article to predict the upcoming noun, similar to adults. Results of linguistic research showed that vocabulary ability is crucially related to lexical processing skills in children. However, still little is known about this relationship with predictive sentence processing in Dutch children. This study explored whether Dutch children were able to predict nouns by using the grammatical gender of the determiner, and if so, whether children with a higher perceptive vocabulary do better than children with a lower perceptive vocabulary. The eye-movements of 39 children, aged from 4 to 6, were registered as they heard sentences such as ‘Kijk eens naar het rode bed, zie je ‘m?’(‘Look at the red bed, do you see it?’) in which the object referred to one of two images that included the target and a distracter image. Participants were presented with two scenarios. One where the gender-marked determiner is informative, distinguishing between two referents with the same gender, e.g., de koe ‘the cow’ vs de hond ‘the dog’, and one where the two referents have the different genders, e.g., het bed ‘the bed’ vs de lamp ‘the light’, and hence the gender-marked determiner is uninformative. Results showed that children used the determiner to fixate on the target object. When controlling for age, children with higher productive vocabularies didn’t look more often to the target than those with lower productive vocabulary scores. Future research should use the productive vocabulary to measure the relationship between prediction and vocabulary.