Tense/Agreement Productivity

Language-specific grammatical structures transform child-like sentences into adult sentences. These grammatical structures may also be referred to as grammatical morphemes, function words, suffixes, or word endings. The tense/agreement productivity (TAP) score is a composite measure for use with child speakers of mainstream American English. The TAP score is made up of five categories of grammatical morphemes that mark tense and agreement. The TAP score estimates children’s developmental progress in marking tense/agreement in diverse sentence contexts in spontaneous language samples. Children earn up to 5 points for each sufficiently different use of tense/agreement morphemes from the five categories above.

Child-like SentencesTense/Agreement MorphemesAdult Sentences
__ doggy _ hungry.copula BEThe doggy is hungry.
He need_ food.3rd person singular present -s He needs food.
The juice spill_.past tense -edThe juice spilled.
__ him need more?auxiliary DODoes he need more?
Doggy __ not eatingauxiliary BEThe doggy is not eating.

On this page COMING SOON, you’ll learn how to assess the emergence of tense and agreement morphemes in preschool children and ways you can help your child learn these grammatical structures.