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Original scientific paper

Informative validity of morphological and semantic cues in agent identification in Croatian

Gordana Dobravac
Lidija Cvikić orcid id ; Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb
Jelena Kuvač Kraljević orcid id ; Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb

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The Unified Competition Model views first language development in children and second language development in adult learners as the result of the same underlying cognitive process that is affected by the informative properties of the linguistic input. Psychological mechanisms in humans enable data-driven gradual language learning from the input. The mechanisms of language learning and processing are universal, while the presence and distribution of the informative properties of a specific language are different, which causes variations in learning. The informative value of case and animacy cues for agentivity in Croatian is discussed in this paper. Their value is quantified through 750 transitive sentences extracted from three different Croatian corpora. The results show that the animacy cue has greater validity than case in the agent identification task. The results are compared with previous findings related to learning Croatian as a first and as a second language in order to verify the model's theoretical assumptions.


Unified Competition Model, informative validity, case cue, animacy cue, Croatian as L1 and L2

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