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Presentation by Frank Barbrie and Caitlin Tramontozzi

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  1. 1. Unit 11: LanguageComparison, Error Analysis, and Instructional Implications By: Caitlin Tramontozzi Frank Barbrie
  2. 2. First Language Acquisition• First Language Acquisition is often referred to as the end result of a process of grammar – the mental system that allows people to speak and understand language• A mature language user is able to produce and understand an unlimited number of novel sentences
  3. 3. Do Children Acquire these Skills?• Research has indicated that children do acquire grammatical rules – This is based upon the speech errors that occur during the early stages of language acquisition “Look I goed for a walk!
  4. 4. Language Acquisition• Errors such as, doed, goed, and runned, tell us as educators that children must formulate a general rule that associates all of the past tense with the ending ed.• In order to fully understand language acquisition, the researchers must often look to the study of phonology, morphology, and syntax for help in identifying and describing the grammatical system that children acquire during the first few years of life.
  5. 5. Methods of Data Collection• Approaches: – Naturalistic approach: investigators observe and record children’s spontaneous utterances. – CHILDS (Children Language Data Exchange System)• It is important to understand that data collection does not provide all of the answers about how the language acquisition process unfolds
  6. 6. Experimental Studies• These usually employ tasks that test children’s comprehension, production, or imitation of skills
  7. 7. Phonological Development• Children seen to be born with a perceptual system that is especially designed for listening to speech• From one month of age, children exhibit the ability to distinguish among certain speech sounds• At six months babbling sounds begin – This is the beginning of speech development
  8. 8. Developmental Order• Children begin with babbling – This increases until about the age of twelve months, here they begin to produce their first understandable words• Once a child has acquired fifty or more words they begin to adopt a fairly regular pattern of pronunciation
  9. 9. Developmental Order• Vowels are generally acquired before consonants (age 3)• Stops tend to be acquired before other consonants• Labial are often acquired first, followed by alveolar, velars, and alveopalatals – Interdentals are acquired last• New phonemic contrasts manifest themselves first in word-initial position. – The /p/-/b/ contrast, for example, is manifested in pairs such as, pat-bat before mop-mob
  10. 10. Early Phonetic Process• The ability to perceive the phonemic contrast of a language develops well in advance of the ability to produce one.• The special character of the sound patterns in children’s early speech lies in the operation of a limited number of universal phonetic processes
  11. 11. Syllable Deletion• Syllables bearing the primary or secondary stress are more noticeable than unstressed counterparts• They are more salient to children in the early stages of language learning• However, unstressed syllables in the final position are retained because the end of words are easier to notice and to remeber
  12. 12. Syllable Simplification• Speech involves the systematic deletion of certain sounds in order to simplify syllable structure – Consonant clusters ae reduced by deleting one or more segments
  13. 13. Substitution• The replacement of one sound by an alternative ha the child finds easier to articulate – Common substitution includes: • Stopping: the replacement of a fricative by a corresponding stop • Fronting: the moving forward of a sound’s place of articulation • Gliding: the replacement of a liquid by a glide • Denasalizing: the replacement of a nasal stop by a non- nasal counterpart
  14. 14. Assimilation• The modification of one or more features of a segment under the influence of neighboring sounds
  15. 15. Vocabulary Development• Once a child reaches eighteen months, they should have a vocabulary of around fifty words or more• Noun-like words make up the single largest class in a child’s earliest vocabulary – Verb and adjective-like words are the next most frequent categories
  16. 16. Strategies for Acquiring Word Meaning• There are three main strategies – The Whole Object Assumption: a new word refers to a whole object – The Type Assumption: a new word refers to a type of thing, not just a particular thing – The Basic Level Assumption: a new word refers to objects that are alike in basic ways • Appearance, behavior, etc…)
  17. 17. Meaning Errors• Overextension and Underextension – Two most typical semantic errors• Over: the child’s word is more general or inclusive that that of the corresponding adult form• Under: the use of lexical items in an overly restrictive fashion• Verb Meanings: errors that occur with verbs due to syntactic patterns
  18. 18. Morphological Development• Words produced by English-speaking children seem to lack any internal morphological structure – Affixes are systematically absent and most words consist of a single root morpheme• Overgeneralization: errors that result of the overly broad application of a rule – Adding (s) to irregular verbs to make them plural
  19. 19. Developmental Sequence• An important result of child language is the development of bound morphemes and functional categories that takes place in an orderly fashion• Determining Factors: – Frequency – Syllabicity – Absence of homophony – Few or no exceptions in the way it is used – Allomorphic invariance – Clearly discernible semantic function
  20. 20. Word Formation Process• Adding suffixes to the end of words is the major word formation process• Suffixes that occur with children under the age of four: – Er (walker) I love my – Ie (doggie) doggie! – Ing (running) – Ness (happiness)
  21. 21. Syntactic Development• The emergence of syntactic structure takes place in an orderly manner and reveals much about the nature of the language acquisition process• One Word Stage: can be used to express the type of meaning that is associated with an entire sentence in adult speech (holophrases) – Using the word “dada” to assert “I see daddy”• Two Word Stage: “mini sentences” – Baby chair (meaning the baby is sitting on the chair)
  22. 22. Later Development• Children continue to acquire the complex grammar that underlies adult linguistic competence• Children signal yes-no questions by means of rising intonation alone and auxiliary verbs appear in statements in child language
  23. 23. Wh-Questions• Emerge gradually between the ages of two and four• What and Where are the first words acquired• Followed by who, how, and why, when, which, and whose
  24. 24. Interpretation of Sentence Structure• Passive: Children are able to associate thematic roles with particular structural positions at a very early point in the acquisition process• Children find it much harder to interpret certain other types of sentences correctly
  25. 25. How is Language Acquisition Possible?• The relationship between input and acquisition is subtler and more complicated than one may think• A connection between of such speech is caregiver speech – This helps because it is slow, carefully articulated speech • It is easy for children to learn and pronounce
  26. 26. Cognitive Development• Language Acquisition is to a large extent independent of other types of cognitive development – A study of individuals whose general cognitive development is deficient but whose language is highly developed • This implies that mental mechanisms responsible for acquisition of parts of grammar are relatively autonomous
  27. 27. Inborn Knowledge• Children are born with prior knowledge• Language they Acquire will belong to a small set of syntactic categories combined with particular ways to create larger phrases• Not ever feature of language’s grammar can be inborn – Vocabulary and morphology must be learned, as well as syntax