Included 1 2013

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Language Acquisition 2013

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  • Although how children learn to speak is not perfectly understood, most explanations involve both the observation that children copy what they hear and the inference that human beings have a natural aptitude for understanding grammar. Children usually learn the sounds and vocabulary of their native language through imitation, and grammar is seldom taught to them; that they rapidly acquire the ability to speak grammatically supports the theory of Noam CHOMSKY and others that children are able to learn the grammar of a particular language because all intelligible languages are founded on a deep structure of universal grammatical rules that corresponds to an innate capacity of the human brain. People learning a second language pass through some of the same stages as do children learning their native language.
  • Included 1 2013

    1. 1. Language AcquisitionBy Samira Bakeer1 01/04/2013
    2. 2. What is Language? a system of symbols and rules that enable usto communicate a symbolic code used in communication the systematic, meaningful arrangement ofsymbols2 01/04/2013
    3. 3. What is Language Acquisition? The process of attaining a specific variant ofhuman language. The process of learning a native or a secondlanguage.3 01/04/2013
    4. 4. Language Acquisition By itself, language acquisition refers to firstlanguage acquisition, which studies infantsacquisition of their native language, whereassecond language acquisition deals withacquisition of additional languages in bothchildren and adults.01/04/20134
    5. 5. Language AcquisitionFirst languageacqusitionSecond languageacqusition5 01/04/2013
    6. 6. First language acquisition Individual’s potential for acquiring anylauguage Competence (Chomsky) Irrelevant to cultural diffierences,nor racedifferences A spontaneous process From babyhood6 01/04/2013
    7. 7. babyhoodStages of language aqusition Pre-language stages ( 3 - 10 months ) The one-word or holophrastic stage (12 - 18months) The two-word stage ( 18 - 20months ) Multiple-word stage ( 2 - 3 months)7 01/04/2013
    8. 8. Follow milestonesFollow milestones In spite of differentbackgrounds, differentlocations, and differentupbringings, most childrenfollow the very samemilestones in acquiringlanguage. Is this criterion met?8 01/04/2013
    9. 9. Pre-language stages Cooing:3months oldthe first recognizalble soundswith velar consonants such as [k] [g]as well as high vowels such as [i] [u] Babbling:6months oldfricatives,nasals,syllabletype sounds9months oldrecognizable intonation patterns,combination10-11months olduse vocalizations to express emotions and emphasis9 01/04/2013
    10. 10. The one-word or holophrastic stage Characterized by speech in which singleterms are uttered for everyday objects Already extending their use Most verbs and nouns,infrequent function words Tend to use informative words10 01/04/2013
    11. 11. 01/04/201311First words: one-word stage. Infants as young as 9 months can recogniseindividual words from a string of speech, butthe first word is not produced until between12-18 months. The first word often soundslike babble, although it is consistently used torefer to one thing. This stage is also referred to as holophrasticbecause each word conveys as muchmeaning as an entire phrase. "Milk" can referto the milk, to spilling it, drinking it, etc.
    12. 12. MilkI want milk ….12 01/04/2013
    13. 13. extending their useMamaMama is coming !I saw Mama’ssocks !13 01/04/2013
    14. 14. 01/04/201314Early word use: Under- and over-extension During the early one-word stage the child willboth underextend and overextend the meaningof words. underextension is when the child learns theword birdie in reference to the family budgie, anddoes not use it to refer to other birds. overextension of word meanings, where thechild extends a word like doggie to refer to allfour-legged animals. Overextension is morecommon and appears to be limited to production.
    15. 15. The two-word stage Begin Around 18 to 20 months, As child’s vocabulary moves beyond 50distinct words Combinations: Mama book.Toy mine.Baby chair.Sock pretty15 01/04/2013
    16. 16. Mama book A)possession: This is Mama’s book. b)request : Mama gave me the book. (c)statement :   Mama is reading the book.16 01/04/2013
    17. 17. Multiple-word stage Between 2-3 years old Producing a large number of utterances Telegraphic speech: strings of lexicalmorphemes in phrases Develop some sentence-building capacity Can order some forms correctly A number of grammatical inflections begin toappear17 01/04/2013
    18. 18. Telegraphic speech Cathy build house. Cat stand up table. Daddy like this book. Chair all broken. I good boy today. What that? What her name? No sit there. Mummy no play. Me put it back. Baby no eat apple18 01/04/2013
    19. 19. Preliminaries:Do children learn their L1 only through imitation?Give examples to support your point.19 01/04/2013
    20. 20. Childish creativityDespite the obvious impact the environment has on thechoice and general direction of mother-tongue learning,children are prone to come up with all kinds of wordsand expressions which they have never heard in theirenvironment. Daughter: Somebody’s at the door. Mother: There is nobody at the door. Daughter: There is yesbody at the door.
    21. 21. Theories in L1A1. behaviourist learning theory(popular in the 1950s and 60s)2. the nativist approach3. the cognitive approach4. the functional approach21 01/04/2013
    22. 22. 1)Behaviourist Learning Theory (popular inthe 1950s and 60s)1. B.F. Skinner2. Viewpoint: LL is a kind of behaviour similarto other human behaviour. Language is learntin much the same way as anything else is learnt.stimulus → organism → response↓ ↓ ↓input the learner imitatione.g. ‘This is a pencil → ‘This is a pencil’.22 01/04/2013
    23. 23. Is Language Behaviour?• B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)claimed that language isjust another form of behaviour.It is a response to stimuli in theenvironment. And it is learned.• Children’s creativity withlanguage is a problem forthis theory.23 01/04/2013
    24. 24. Four steps for a child to acquire his/her L1imitation→reinforcement→repetition→habituationpositive negative good habit bad habitpositive reinforcement: praise or rewardnegative reinforcement: correctionsgood habit: correct performancebad habit: errors24 01/04/2013
    25. 25. Imitation : Children memorize wordsand sentences they hear from alanguage.X Pros Language symbolsare arbitrary andnot logicallyconnected to thethings they represent Children only learnthe language peoplearound them speakCons Children use forms ofwords that adults neversay The mistakes childrenmake are consistentbetween children andbetween languagegroups Children produce wordsand sentences they havenever heard. Children undertandwords and sentencesConsensussays“Cons” Win !25 01/04/2013
    26. 26. Reinforcement: Children learn to speakby being praised or corrected by adults.Pros???????Cons Corrections are rarewhen total numberof speech events isconsidered. Praise is rare whenthe total number ofspeech events isconsidered. Even without ANYpraise or correctionschildren acquirelanguage Praise or correctionsfrequently don’tchange childConsensussays“Cons” Win !X 26 01/04/2013
    27. 27. Input/Experience : Children figure outand learn grammatical patterns fromhearing adult language patternsProsChildren makesystematicmistakes ingrammar by “overregularizing”formsConsThe speed withwhich childrenacquire all of thegrammaticalpatterns of alanguage is sorapid that is isdifficult to see howthey can figureout all grammarfrom experience inA Tie? 27 01/04/2013
    28. 28. Over Regularized FormsVerb FormsChildren learn such past tense patterns as e.g. walked,hugged, wanted, then apply the rules to irregular verbse.g.“bringed”, “eated”, “runned”NounsGiven nonsense nouns like “wug” children make themplural by adding “s” and Children regularize plurals ofirregular nouns e.g. womans, mans28 01/04/2013
    29. 29. Criticisms of behaviourist learning theory① overemphasize the external factors② ignore the internal factor, i.e. the role oflearner himself③ overemphasize the role of imitationrelations with FLT (Audio-lingual Method)pattern drills29 01/04/2013
    30. 30. 2) The nativist approach1. viewpoint: Children’s ability to learn alanguage is innate.2. innate hypothesis: ↑3. Language Acquisition Device (LAD)characteristics of LAD:Universal grammar (UG): Chomsky’s term forthe abstract principles that comprise a child’sinnate knowledge of language and that guide LA30 01/04/2013
    31. 31. 01/04/2013Noam Chomsky’s L-A-DChomsky’s theory of the LAD(Language Acquisition Device)states that every human is bornwith innate principles of language.Children learn language spontaneouslyand speak creatively.The “poverty of the stimulus theory”states that what children hear isincomplete and oftenungrammatical, and cannot accountfor the creativity of theirutterances.31
    32. 32. Language UniversalsLanguage Universals What evidence is there for innate knowledge ofcertain basic language features present in all humanlanguages? LINGUISTIC UNIVERSALS > UNIVERSAL GRAMMARLINGUISTIC UNIVERSALS > UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR All languages have: A grammar Basic word order (in terms of SOV, etc.) Nouns and verbs Subjects and objects Consonants and vowels Absolute and implicational tendencies E.g., If a language has VO order, then modifiers tend to follow thehead)
    33. 33. ““Universal Grammar”Universal Grammar” Humans then learn to specialize this“universal grammar” (UG) for the particulars oftheir language. Word order, syntactic rule preferencesWord order, syntactic rule preferences Phonetic and phonological constraintsPhonetic and phonological constraints LexiconLexicon Semantic interpretationsSemantic interpretations Pragmatic ways to conversePragmatic ways to converse
    34. 34. Behaviourist learning theory (A) vs. The nativist approach(B)① A holds the view that LL is similar to thelearning of other things; B holds the view that LLis different from the learning of other things;We’re born with a kind of faculty which isunique to LL.② A attaches great importance to the roleof language input; B holds that input is needed,34 01/04/2013
    35. 35. Weakness of the nativist approach:hard to find out the nature of LADdifficult to observe LADContributions of the nativist approach:It regards children’s language as areasonable system rather than something fullof errors.35 01/04/2013
    36. 36. Team Discussion: nature vs.nurtureMuch debate has taken placeconcerning the importance of nature(what is innate) and nurture(environmental factors) in theacquisition of language.01/04/201336
    37. 37. Team Discussion: nature vs.nurture Now consider what you believe the relative importanceof nature and nurture to be in the acquisition oflanguage, given the finding that the human genomecontains only about 26,000 to 30,000 genes, less thanthe number of genes in some plants.– nature (innate factors) is more important– nurture (environmental and learning factors) is moreimportant– other (explain)01/04/201337
    38. 38. 3) The cognitive approach1. viewpoint:Children’s language development relies ontheir understanding of the world or cognition.2. Cognitive research is concerned with the mentalprocesses involved in language acquisition, andhow they can explain the nature of learnerslanguage knowledge.3. the computational model38 01/04/2013
    39. 39. 4) The functional approach1. to probe LA not from the angle oflanguage structure, but from the angle oflanguage communication.2. viewpoint:Children can learn a language successfully forthe reason that they realize language could helpdo things.39 01/04/2013
    40. 40. 40 01/04/2013

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