ARE THE ACQUISITION OF GERMAN PLURAL AFFIXES ARBITRARY?

Abstract

Author(s): Mehmet Halit ATLI

 The plurality system in nouns is the collection of rules varying from language to language. Although they are few in some languages, these rules have details possibly creating problems in the acquisition/learning of the some other languages. Details can vary according to the structure of the language its richness, geography, in which it is spoken and speakers’ culture. Turkish native speakers make singular nouns plural ones by adding “−lar”, “−ler” suffixes to the end of every kind of nouns. However, this system functions very differently in German. The fact that the plurality system in this language differs from Turkish language and this creates problems for Turkophones, who tend to acquire German as a foreign language. The fact that the plurality system of German whose structure, rules and conditions vary from Turkophones is discussed in most of the studies, however there is no compromise how to make a single noun a plural one in German. According to some contemporary linguists, there are not any rules to detect the plurality of German and a single noun must be memorized with its plural version. However, we attempted to show in this study the fact that the plurality system of German is not arbitrary in contrast to what other have claimed, but instead to show the plurality system in that language is possible with the detection of certain and analogues conditions in a previous time.

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