The acquisition of noun inflection by Oromo speaking children


  • Alemayehu Tafese Gebre Addis Ababa University


The primary objective of this study was to describe how typically developing Oromo-speaking children acquire noun inflection. Specifically, it seeks to examine how nominal inflections for number and case are acquired. The Oromo language has been extensively described linguistically, but there is no study on how children learn the language in general or how they acquire noun inflection in particular. A descriptive, cross-sectional research design was employed for the study. A total of thirty Oromo-speaking children between the ages of 3;0 and 7;11 participated in the study. The study predominantly used the picture naming and description method to elicit children’s production. The voice samples were first written down orthographically (in Oromo script) and then phonetically (using IPA symbols). The findings revealed that various morphological processes were present in children's productions. These are incorrect naming of the pictures. In this process, the children employed a substitution, overgeneralization, or overextension strategy in naming the pictures. The majority of the children omitted noun inflectional morphemes, even at the age 6 through 7. Furthermore, the omission of some inflectional morphemes on the locative case marker was observed. But, the lexical morphemes are retained for this item. The study found no significant difference between sexes when comparing children's performance at the same age. To conclude, in the process of the acquisition of noun Inflection by Oromo speaking children, the error patterns identified were errors of overextension, errors omission and errors of substitution. In general, the study findings are merely an attempt to describe and document the acquisition of noun inflection by the children in issue.



How to Cite

Tafese Gebre, A. (2022). The acquisition of noun inflection by Oromo speaking children. Journal of Child Language Acquisition and Development-JCLAD, 557–571. Retrieved from



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