Unformatted text preview: Chapter 16
First language acquisition Acquisition
Acquisition There is an innate predisposition to acquire language (Chomsky’s view), but the child has to be given opportunities to interact with language users in order to develop it.
2 requirements for first language acquisition:
The child must be physically capable of sending and receiving language signals. The child must have frequent opportunities to interact with other language users. Caretaker speech
Caretaker speech Caretaker speech/ Motherese: speech which is characterized by simplified words and sentence structures, repetition, frequent questions, and exaggerated intonation.
Parents treat their children’s utterances as being meaningful and important even when they are unintelligible, this teaches the child the interactional function of language (that language is a way of sharing emotions and forming relationships with others).
Caretaker speech does become more complex as the child acquires more language. Basic stages of language Basic stages of language acquisition Prelanguage stages Cooing
Babbling True Language One word/ holophrastic stage
Telegraphic speech Cooing
These are the first recognizable sounds the child produces. Usually happens from 3 to 6 months of age The sounds are usually velar (/k/, /g/) and and high vowels (/i/, /u/) Babbling
Usually starts around 6 months when the child starts to sit up. The child starts producing different types of sounds including fricatives and nasals and other vowels (/mu/, /da/) One word/holophrastic stage
One word/holophrastic stage Between 12 –18 months, children start producing recognizable singleunit utterances “singleword stage”.
Examples: single terms referring to objects – cookie, doggie, cup, milk
We use the term holophrastic, which means single form functioning as a phrase or sentence, because some of the single word utterances produced by kids in this stage seem to be the condensed version of a phrase or sentence into a single unit (up – pick me up). Two word stage
Two word stage Starts around 18 months – 2 years. It seems to coincide with an increase in the child’s vocabulary beyond 50 words. baby chair, mommy eat, dog bad Context helps interpret these two word utterances.
Child gets consistent feedback
Expressive language skills lag behind receptive language skills. Telegraphic Speech
Telegraphic Speech Usually starts between 2 –3 years of age. Utterances contain multiple words, almost exclusively lexical morphemes, mainly nouns and verbs.
Hasn’t acquired most of the function words (Art, Prep, Conj) or at least he/she isn’t sure how to use them. Lucy want ball.
Dog drink water.
Shoes all wet. The fact that lexical morphemes are in the right order indicates that the child has basic sentence structure Morphological Development
Morphological Development By age 3, the child starts to move beyond telegraphic speech and starts using some of the inflectional morphemes.
present tense plural Order of Acquisition of Order of Acquisition of Inflectional Morphemes 1.
6. Present progressive
“To be” and irregular past tense verbs
Regular past tense verbs
Third person singular present Syntactic Development
Syntactic Development Y/N questions: Are you going home for Thanksgiving? – requires a yes or no answer. Wh questions: Why didn’t you take the test? begin with who, what, when, where, how, why, which, etc.. Expect more than a simple yes or no reply. Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Negative Sentences Stage 1: 1826 months Questions: the child produces wh Qs by adding a wh word to the beginning of the utterance and y/n Qs by using rising intonation at the end of the sentence (Where doggie? See mommy? Where daddy go?) Negatives: the child’s negatives consist of “no” or “not” at the beginning of the utterance (no school, no sit there, not teddy bear) Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Negative Sentences Stage 2: 2230 months Questions: Q expressions are more complex and include new wh words, but child still uses rising intonation for y/n Qs (What dog name? Why you crying? You wanna play?) Negatives: Negative sentences become more sophisticated as the child starts to use “can’t” and “don’t” in addition to “no” and “not”, and the negative forms start to occur near the verb rather than at the beginning of the sentence (he no bite you, I don’t know) Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Negative Sentences Stage 3: 2440 months Questions: child finally starts to follow standard English rule for forming a Q by inverting the subject and the verb, but sometimes forgets to invert the subject and verb in a wh Q (did I caught it? How that opened?) Negatives: the child’s negative sentences finally look like adult forms (he won’t bite you) Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Negative Sentences One of the reasons why children are slow in acquiring negatives is that they have to master auxiliary verbs first, and the auxiliary verb systems of some languages like English are pretty complex. Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Stages of Acquisition of Qs and Negative Sentences The negative aux verbs are acquired in this order:
Don’t, can’t Didn’t Won’t Isn’t/aren’t Semantic Development
Semantic Development The holophrastic/one word stage is interesting semantically because children tend to overextend the meanings of words based on similarities of shape, size, sound, movement, and texture. Semantic Development
Semantic Development Children tend to overextend words at first and then gradually narrow down the application of each word as they learn more and more words. It makes sense because learning more words gives you more flexibility in terms of how you refer to things. Semantic Development
Semantic Development Another aspect of word learning relates to categorical hierarchies (hyponymy).
Oak First language acquisition
First language acquisition Almost all children have completed the first language acquisition process by age 5. ...
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- Fall '08
- Grammatical number, negative sentences