lin101h1-lecture11.pdf - First Language Acquisition...

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First Language Acquisition Typically developing children acquire a mental grammar for the language(s) they are exposed to on a regular basis. This mental grammar contains the following types of information: the phonemes of the language; the possible syllable structures of the language; the phonological rules of the language; the morphemes of the language (including information about their pronunciation and meaning); rules for combining morphemes together into words irregular word formation rules (e.g., man ~ men , break ~ broke )
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First Language Acquisition Typically developing children acquire a mental grammar for the language(s) they are exposed to on a regular basis. This mental grammar contains the following types of information: (also rules that determine the ways in which words may combine into sentences, and the meanings that correspond to different combinations of words) (see LIN102)
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First Language Acquisition How quickly is this grammar acquired? And is the grammar acquired all at once, or in steps? Linguists have been able to identify certain stages that are characteristic of typical language development. Since infants are not born speaking a particular language, many of the stages that an infant passes through hold no matter what languages they are exposed to.
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Phonological Acquisition Some generalizations regarding child acquisition of phonemes: In early infancy, children are able to identify contrasts in languages they have never before been exposed to, more reliably than adults can. (a common experimental technique involves measuring the rate at which an infant sucks on their pacifier) Ability to reliably discriminate between certain speech sounds is therefore lost during language development, depending on the contrasts that are relevant for the language being acquired. (Only relevant contrasts are maintained!)
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Phonological Acquisition Production of speech sounds works differently from perception . While children lose the ability to perceive certain contrasts between speech sounds, they gain the ability to produce different speech sounds.
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Phonological Acquisition Early in infancy (around six months), infants begin to babble (i.e., produce syllables without meaning). In early stages, babbling is more or less the same regardless of the language that the child is exposed to. Common consonants in early babbling: p b m t d n k g s h w j
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Phonological Acquisition (Note that the consonants often found in babbling also tend to be the most common consonants found in the languages of the world.) (An interesting difference: while alveolar/dental consonants are the most common crosslinguistically, labial consonants are often the earliest consonants that children begin to produce.)
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Phonological Acquisition (Note that the consonants often found in babbling also tend to be the most common consonants found in the languages of the world.) (An interesting difference: while alveolar/dental
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