‘Een onderzoek naar de samenhang tussen cognitieve flexibiliteit en inflectionele morfologie
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The relationship between language and cognition is often discussed by adherents with different views in linguistics. Constructivism states that language is solely learned on the basis of experience. With this view they assume that cognition and language are interdependent. Generativism states that language is hard-wired, every individual is born with the ability to develop language through the universal grammar (UG). They adopt the view of language and cognition being independent from each other. It remains unclear whether language and cognition function dependent or independent from each other. The aim of this research is to explore whether there is a relationship between language and cognition by focusing on cognitive flexibility and inflectional morphology by the means of explorative research. The following research question has been formulated: ‘Is there a relationship between cognitive flexibility and inflectional morphology?’. Cognitive flexibility is analyzed through children’s drawings of an existing flower and a non-existent flower. The modifications on the flower are showing internal representational change and flexibility. Inflectional morphology exists of the addition of affixes and vowel change, it does change a word grammatically but does not create a new word (e.g., I walk – he walks). Additionally, research has been conducted into the role of sex and intelligence within the relationship between cognitive flexibility and inflectional morphology. Quantitative explorative research has been conducted into previously collected data in order to give an answer to the research question. The used dataset contains data of 117 participants in the age of 5-7 years. The test battery contained a drawing task, an intelligence task and two tasks to measure inflectional morphology. The data is analyzed by the means of hierarchal multiple regression analysis. This research shows that cognitive flexibility is not significantly related to inflectional morphology. In addition, sex does not moderate the relationship between cognitive flexibility and inflectional morphology. However, this research shows that intelligence can be seen as a moderator between cognitive flexibility and inflectional morphology. This research found support for the generativists point of view. Nevertheless, more research needs to be conducted to determine whether cognition and language are truly independent.