Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Disorders, Special Education & Disability Services

First Advisor

Jill L. Brady, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Second Advisor

Lisa Hammett Price, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Third Advisor

Cynthia McCormick Richburg, Ph.D., CCC­‐A


The current study examined cross-language transference in the second language development of three children who are native speakers of Amharic and who were adopted by an American family. Ten language samples were taken from each of the children over the course of 14 months. Using these language samples, each child's acquisition of 14 English grammatical morphemes was followed and compared to monolingual norms for the rate and order of acquisition. The results indicated that the order of grammatical morphemes for each of the three participants was different from the monolingual norms established by Jon Miller (Miller, 1981). In addition, the results from this study revealed that the effects of age of acquisition played a significant role in the results, since the older two participants had a distinct advantage for their morphological development. However, the youngest participant's grammatical morpheme acquisition more closely resembled the monolingual norms, while the older two participants' grammatical morpheme acquisition was more distinctive.