ENGLISH LANGUAGE AQA A LEVEL: CHILD SPOKEN LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
Terms in this set (71)
First Year: before first word is spoken
babbling, cooing, vocal play and melodic utterances, lip rounding
Second Year: Stage 1
Holophrastic Stage: open words and pragmatics "mummy", "up", "no"
Steven Pinker's definition of a word:
stretch of sound that expresses a concept; must be related directly and consistently to that object
Second Year: Stage 2
Two-word Stage: some pronouns used "me go". Two words put together have meaning
can be used with a variation of words, broaden a child's expression "all gone daddy", "all gone milk"
Second Year: Stage 3
Telegraphic Stage: mostly open words, prepositions, articles and conjunctions are frequently left out so sentences not grammatically correct but are still clear "I giving blanket to monkey"
Second Year: Stage 4
Multi-word Stage: increased number of closed words, especially conjunctions. Pronunciation not always clear.
Katherine Nelson's four categories of early words
Naming - nouns
Actions - verbs
Social - pragmatics
Modifying - adverbs and adjectives
Elizabeth Spelke's theory
Children tend to prefer objects that are solid, still, continuous and well-defined in shape
Influence of the environment
Where the child is brought up may affect their language "countryside", "cow", "tractor"
Influence of personality
Referential children tend to use nouns.
Expressive children use more social words and verbs.
when a child uses the same word to apply to lots of different things
when a child restricts the use of a word
Leslie Rescorla: Categorical Overextension
Related to semantics: "apple" is stretched to include other fruits within a similar, larger category.
Leslie Rescorla: Analogical Overextension
Related to the function or perception of the object: a scarf may be called "cat" when a child stroke it due to the soft material.
Leslie Rescorla: Mismatch or predicate statements
Convey some form of abstract info: "doll" referring to an empty cot because that is where it usually is.
Jean Aitchison: Labelling
associating sounds with objects
Jean Aitchison: Packaging
starting to explore the extent of the label, two words. Over and under extension often occur
Jean Aitchison: Network Building
making connections between labels they have developed, understanding opposites, similarities, relationships and contrasts
smallest unit of a word
carries the main meaning: "eat" in "eating"
can only have meaning when attached to free morpheme. Adds progressive aspect, showing the action is ongoing: "ing" in "eating"
words altered to create new grammatical forms e.g. suffixes; plurals, past tense, comparatives and superlatives
where prefixes and suffixes are added to created entirely new words: "un-happy" and "walking"
over applied grammatical rules
are logical so they show development e.g. applying the plural rule to "sheep" = "two sheeps"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Instrumental
language is used to express child's needs e.g. "want biscuit"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Regulatory
language is used to tell others what to do e.g. "go away!" or "play with me!"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Interactional
language is used to make contact with others e.g. "love you, mummy"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Personal
language is used to express feelings, opinions and individual identity e.g. "me good girl" or "I walking"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Heuristic
language is used to gain knowledge e.g. "what's dog doing?" or "why, daddy?"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Imaginative
language is used to tell stories and jokes, to create an imaginary environment e.g. "I'm a fairy" or "you be cat, I be dog"
Halliday's Taxonomy of Language: Representational
language is used to convey facts and information e.g. "biscuit in tin" or "dog in bed"
class shifting e.g. "jam" to "jammed" is logical as "butter" can be "buttering"
adding a prefix or suffice e.g. "rainy" or "cloudy"
"horsey-man" might be someone who rides a horse - more amusing expressions
two words are chunked together after hearing them spoken around them e.g. "inthere" = "put it in there" and "wassat" = "what is that?"
verb that supports or helps the main verb
used before nouns to determine their number and type: indefinite article "a/an" and definite article "the".
expresses a relationship between words, phrases or clauses, relate to space or time e.g. "he's IN the house" or "I'll be there AT eight"
Stages in negative formation:
uses word alone, then combined with a noun or verb, use in middle of sentence, used as contractions, increase range and then saying "no" without saying "no"
adding an extra vowel sound to create CVCV structure "dog" becomes "doggie"
leaving out last consonant of word "pig" pronounced as "pi"
the repetition of particular sounds and structures "choochoo"
sound is swapped for easier sound "rabbit" becomes "wabbit"
Consonant cluster reduction
reduce consonant clusters as difficult to pronounce "frog" becomes "fog"
Deletion of unstressed syllables
removal of an entire unstressed syllables from word "banana" becomes "nana" and "pyjamas" become "jama"
process in which substitution occurs but the sound changes because of other sounds around it "doggie" becomes "goggie"
Child Directed Speech
higher pitch, slower, enthusiasm, facial expressions, diction clear, simplified lexis, responsive with questions "did you?", leave gaps for response "you're going to nursery?....wow!"
correcting a child on their grammar subtly when responding to their statement "I putted the plates on table", mum responds with "you put the plates on the table, did you?"
Skinner (1950s) - idea that children superficially imitate the words and sounds the people around them use, sometimes without fully understanding the meaning: "'gusting"
Evaluation of Behaviourist Theory
cannot be sure they understand, animal studies cannot be generalised to humans, parents more likely to correct the truth rather than the grammar if they make mistakes, if overcorrected language is impeded
Social Interactionist Theory
Bruner, Snow and Trevarthen - input it vital in helping children acquire language, important for turn taking and pragmatic
Social Interactionist Theory: LASS
Language Acquisition Support System: 'scaffolds' language development
Evaluation of Social Interactionist Theory
case of Jim with deaf parents proved interaction is vital in language development
Social Interactionist Theory: David Crystal
"it takes two to talk"
Noam Chomsky - children have an inbuilt Language Acquisition Device (LAD), able to extract rules of their particular language from the words and structures they hear, children are primed and ready to learn any language with the correct input
Nativist Theory: Universal Grammar
makes us receptive to common features of all languages
Evaluation of Nativism
Broca and Wernicke suggested that language is localised in the frontal cortex and if damaged, production of language is affected. Also, case of Genie.
Nativist Theory: Poverty of Stimulus
Chomsky argued learning from people around is not enough as we they are not spoken to in full sentences as a baby/child - they must work it out themselves
Nativist Theory: Virtuous Errors
they should not occur if Skinner is correct "I putted" - applied the correct rule in the wrong way
Nativist Theory: Linguistic Creativity
learnt rules, applied it themselves
children are hard-wired but still need a stimulus. If the LAD is not activated within the critical period (5 years), language development will not occur (it was too late for Genie)
Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky - children's linguistic knowledge is another aspect of their wider understanding, if concept of word is not understood, cannot be used in other contexts
children acquire language is a set, logical order with understanding coming first.
Object Permanence: Piaget
realisation that objects exists even when not seen or heard "the lights went off, turn them back on"
Cognitivist Theory: Role Play
caregivers provide scenarios to encourage the child to be an active part in conversations; cooking role play game with a toy kitchen
Cognitivist Theory: Story Telling
changes in pitch, volume and rhythmic qualities of sentences enables infants to grasp what is being said before they are able to understand the semantics of the words spoken
Evaluation of Cognitivism
some children with cognitive problems still use language way beyond their apparent understanding
words that are similar to actual words used at a very young age
Berko-Gleason's 1958 Wug Experiment
children aged 4-7 shown picture of imaginary creature and told it was called a "wug", then shown two pictures of same creature, told "there are now two of them". Children correctly stated that there were "two wugs" - ability to pluralise an unknown word shows they have internalised the rule of how plurals are formed, impossible to be imitating
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