FIRST YEARS > Listening & Spoken Language Development & Intervention > Brown's 14 Grammatical Morphemes
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Adapted from: Owens, R. E. (1984) Language Development: An Introduction. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, p. 233. 
Original source: Brown, R. (1973) A first language: The early stages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Table 9.2. Brown's 14 Grammatical Morphemes and Their Order of Acquisition
Order of 
Morpheme Example
1 Present progressive - ing (no auxiliary verb) Mommy driving.
2 In Ball in cup.
3 On Doggie on sofa.
4 Regular plural - s Kitties eat my ice cream.
Forms:  /s/, /z/, and /Iz/, e.g.
5 Irregular past Came, fell, broke, sat, went
6 Possessive - 's Mommy's balloon broke.
Forms:  /s/, /z/, and /Iz/ as in regular plural
7 Uncontractible copula
(Verb to be as main verb)
Who's sick?
Response: He is.
8 Articles I see a kitty.
I throw the ball to daddy.
9 Regular past - ed Mommy pulled the wagon.
Forms: /d/, /t/, /Id/, e.g.
10 Regular third person -s Kathy hits.
Forms:  /s/, /z/, and /Iz/ as in regular plural
11 Irregular third person Does, has
12 Uncontractible auxiliary Who's wearing your hat?
Response: He is.
13 Contractible copula Man is big.
Man's big.
14 Contractible auxiliary Daddy is drinking juice.
Daddy's drinking juice.