Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper


Interjections in a language must be learned. This paper discusses acquisition of three English interjections ouch, yuck, and oops by children of as young as 1;7 and by adult caretakers (for comparison). The data analyzed here were taken from three previously-collected data sets which are available in the CHILDES database. The results imply that children may acquire those interjections early but they start using them at different ages due to phonological constraints, and indicate that uses of these interjections may be different between children and adults.



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