Acquisition Order for Grammatical Morphemes (Brown, 1973)

Order Morpheme Example

1 Present Progressive I driving

2-3 Prepositions in, on

4 Plural balls

5 Irregular Past Tense broke, fell

6 Possessive Daddy's chair

7 Uncontractible Copula This is hot

8 Articles a, the

9 Regular past tense She walked

10 3rd person present tense, regular He works

11 3rd preson present tense, irregular She does

12 Uncontractible auxilliary Ross is winning

13 Contractible copula He's a clown

14 Contractible auxiliary She's drinking

• Brown discovered that the order of morpheme acquisition did not depend on frequency of exposure (in parental speech).

• Instead, Brown concluded that the morphemes were required in order of syntactic and semantic complexity.