Unformatted text preview: 10/24/11 Language acquisi1on October 24, 2011 What do you know? Is there a "sensi1ve period" for language acquisi1on? The debate: nature v. nurture Research aJempts answer the ques1on: how do humans acquire language? Two major theore1cal viewpoints drive this research: nature nurture 1 10/24/11 Do humans acquire language... via innate, language specific mechanisms that are present at the level of the genome? via experience with the environment and language-learning opportuni1es? via something completely different? A modern viewpoint: emergen1sm Today the debate in language research is not about nature vs. nurture, but about the nature of nature. The emergen6st view resulted out of this shiT in modern thought. The necessi1es There are two requirements for first language acquisi1on: The child must be physically capable of sending and receiving language signals. The child must have frequent opportuni1es to interact with other language users. 2 10/24/11 The amazing baby Language learning is natural for human infants. At birth babies already show a preference for their na1ve languages and their mothers' voices. By 4-months-old, babies recognize and understand their own names. By 6-months-old, babies can successfully pair their parents with "mommy" and "daddy". Caregiver speech... is the manner in which people alter their speech when communica1ng with a young child. is variably high-pitched speech with exaggerated intona1on and prolonged vowels. is spoken at a slow rate with many pauses between uJerances and longer-than-normal pauses between sentences/phrases. repeats syllables and words; asks numerous ques1ons. consists of short, simple, but gramma1cally correct sentences. Vocal development Early vocaliza1ons are viewed as a precursor to language development. Numerous stage-like models have been developed to describe vocal development. Earlier forms of vocaliza1ons do not disappear --important to think of vocal development as a con1nuous process. 3 10/24/11 Vocal tract development infant vocal tract adult vocal tract Stages of vocal development Stage 1: Reflexive vocaliza1ons Stage 2: Cooing/Gooing Stage 3: Vocal play Stage 4: Canonical babbling Stage 5: Jargon Stage 1: Reflexive Vocaliza1ons determined by the anatomical structure. Birth to 2-months-old Crying Fussing Coughing Burping Sneezing 4 10/24/11 Stage 2: Cooing/Gooing 2- to 4-month-olds comfort-state vocaliza1ons laughter quasi-resonant nuclei in the same breath group with back consonants (/g, k, h/) Stage 3: Vocal play 4- to 6-month-olds tes1ng the limits of physiology yells whispers squeals growls rasberries capable of producing fully resonant nuclei by 5 months of age Stage 4: Canonical babbling 6-month-olds and older appearance of consonant-vowel syllables (/ ba/) with adult-like 1ming two types: reduplicated /bababa/ varigated /mabidaku/ 5 10/24/11 Stage 5: Jargon 10-month-olds and older "long strings of unintelligible sounds with adultlike prosodic and intona1onal paJerns" delivered with eye contact, gesture, and intona1on The phone1c inventory Vihman (1992) noted that early vocaliza1ons are the same across all infants--regardless of their na1ve language. Vocaliza1ons begin in the back of the mouth, but move to the front/center during canonical babbling (/m, b, d/). Words! Words typically enter children's vocabulary around 10- to18-months-old. OTen they do not sound like the "adult- version"--protowords. "baba" = boJle, "da" = dog, "poon" = spoon OTen, the single "word" is actually representa1ve of a whole idea--holophras+c. "aah-duh" = all done, "uh-uh" = pick me up 6 10/24/11 Word learning begins slowly... but steadily accelerates! What are first words like? First words are typically spoken between the ages of 10 and 13 months. Expressive vocabularies are very similar across children, but vary greatly in their pronuncia1ons. First words are typically one or two syllables. VC "up" = "uh" CV "ball" = "bah" CVCV "mommy" = "mama" 7 10/24/11 Most common words 22 Phonological processes approach Concept of phonological processes was introduced by Stampe (1969). The approach gives aJen1on to the effects of syllabic structure, to the sequencing of sounds, and to the effects sounds have on one another. "Phonological processes are rules children use to make produc1ons that fit into their phonological understandings and abili1es." Syllable simplifica1on Weak syllable dele1on banana nana dessert zert Reduplica1on doggie dada mommy mama Cluster reduc1on street teet smell mell Final consonant dele1on juice jew bus buh Epenthesis blue buhloo green guhween 8 10/24/11 Sound subs1tu1on Fron1ng cow tao shy sigh Gliding love yove red wed Stopping Move moob cheese teeze Deaffrica1on thing sing other uh-fer Assimila1on Consonant harmony/assimila1on yellow lellow slimy simy Postvocalic devoicing bag back dog dock Prevocalic voicing pat bat Metathesis animal aminal elephant ephalant Devia1ons from standard meaning Overextensions involve using a word to refer not only to standard referents but to others as well. "doggie" Underextensions involve limi1ng the use of a word to a subset of i"boJle" ts standard referents. Overlap involves overextending a term in some ways and underextending in others. "brella" 9 10/24/11 Lexical crea1vity Children will oTen invent words to express meanings for which they do not know any appropriate term. Principles of lexical crea1vity: simplicity seman1c transparency produc1vity Two-word stage Two word combina1ons typically enter children's produc1on around 18- to 24- months-old. Coincides with an increase in the child's expressive vocabulary beyond 50 words. Context is crucial to interpreta1on. baby milk juice ball Telegraphic speech Telegraphic speech appears around 20- to 30- months-old. It consists of strings of lexical morphemes. daddy go bye-bye me want down no car seat now 10 10/24/11 Telegraphic speech con1nued... If your goal is to get the message across the content words n, v are the most important for doing that. Gramma1cal morphemes are being acquired during this period. When a child says something it's a way of tes1ng whether or not a given language construc1on works. Morphological development At 27- to 30-months-old, the child starts to move beyond telegraphic speech and begins using some of the inflec1onal morphemes. I, it, this, that; me, mine, my, & you gramma1cal morphemes emerge They elaborate NP in the object posi1on. They overgeneralize rules (e.g., foots, mans). 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Order of acquisi1on of inflec1onal morphemes Present progressive: "mommy reading book" Regular plural: "kids, dogs, mans for mens" Possessive: "Mommy's glass" "To be" and irregular past tense verbs: am, is, are... Regular past tense verbs: "walked, played" Third person singular present tense verb marker: "he buys, she goes" 11 10/24/11 Syntac1c development Lots of studies involving all aspects of syntax, your text presents two in detail: Ques1on forma1on Use of nega1ves These two structures are acquired in a regular way by more English-speaking children. Stages of Syntax Acquisi1on Stage 1 Stage 1: 18- to 26-months-old Ques1ons are produced by adding a "wh-" word to the beginning of the uJerance. Rising intona1on indicates a Y/N ques1on. Where doggie? See mommy? Where daddy go? Nega1ves are formed with "no" or "not" at the beginning of the uJerance. no school, no sit there, not teddy bear Stages of Syntax Acquisi1on Stage 2 Stage 2: 22- to 30-months-old Ques1ons are more complex and include new wh- words, but the child s1ll uses rising intona1on for Y/N ques1ons. What dog name? Why you crying? You wanna play? Nega1ves become more sophis1cated as the child starts to add "can't" and "don't". The nega1ve forms start to occur near the verb rather than at the beginning of the sentence. no school, no sit there, not teddy bear 12 10/24/11 Stages of Syntax Acquisi1on Stage 3 Stage 3: 24- to 40-months-old Ques1ons start to follow standard English rule for forming a ques1on--invert the subject and the verb, but some1mes the child forgets to invert the subject and verb in a wh- Q. did I caught it? How that opened? Nega1ves finally look like adult forms. he won't bite you Ques1ons and nega1ve sentences Children are slow to acquire nega1ves because they have to master auxiliary verbs first, and the auxiliary verb systems of some languages like English are complex. The nega1ve aux verbs are acquired in this order: 1. Don't, can't 2. Didn't 3. Won't 4. Isn't/aren't Pragma1c development Stage 1 (MLU = 1.0 2.0; 12 - 26 months) prima1ve turn-taking skills Stage 2 (MLU = 2.0 2.5; 27 - 30 months) early conversa1ons begin sustains topic for 1-2 turns aJempts conversa1onal repair range of communica1on intents increase later in stage, child some1mes uses "please" MLU = mean length of uJerance; how many morphemes 13 10/24/11 Pragma1c development Stage 3 (MLU = 2.5 - 3.0; 31 - 34 months) conversa1ons improve most exchanges are 1 or 2 turns per topic topic collabora1ng conversa1onal repairs are word replacements politeness develops (i.e., please, may I) Pragma1c development Stage 4 (MLU = 3.0 - 3.75; 35 - 40 months) learns about differences in pause lengths prima1ve presupposi1onal skills starts to make indirect requests conversa1onal repair involves repea1ng, and later, revising what is said greater amount of con1ngent uJerances and topic con1nua1on by end of stage, can sustain conversa1on for more than 2 turns Pragma1c development Stage 5 (MLU = 3.75 - 4.5; 41 - 46 months) further improvements and refinements are occurring By 6 years of age children have the basic communica1on skills they need for most things they will do in life. During this 1me they oTen become literate; through reading they further refine their spoken language and communica1ve competence. 14 10/24/11 Exclama1on and call 18 Naming 21 Wan1ng, direct request & statement Request for informa1on 30 Prohibi1on 33 yes/no ques1on, con1ngent ques1on Request for permission 45 Sugges1on 48 Physical jus1fica1on 54 Offer and understand indirect request Inten+on ______ Age (in months) 24 36 Development of exhibited inten1ons from Wells (1985) 57 15 ...
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- Fall '11