How children learn language


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an introduction to psycholinguistics
chapter 1 How children learn language
21 slide of the first chapter explaining most important parts of the first chapter.

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How children learn language

  1. 1. How Children Learn Language
  2. 2. Introduction Psychological processes  Speech Production  Speech Comprehension
  3. 3. The Development of Speech Production  From Vocalization To Babbling To Speech  Vocalization to babbling  Crying  Cooing  Gurgling  Even deaf infants do it!
  4. 4. Vocalization To Babbling  Around the seventh month, children ordinarily begin to babble (syllabic reduplication).  E.g. Baba, momo, panpan, dada  Both open syllables CV (“momo” and “baba”) and close syllables CVC (panpan).  From as early as 6 months of age infants from different language communities begin to babble somewhat distinctively. (intonation) Deaf infants deprived of hearing do not do. They babble with their hands!
  5. 5. Babbling to Speech  Around 1 year of age.  There is some degree of discontinuity from babbling to the production of speech sounds. Japerson (1993)  There is some discontinuity between babbling and meaningful speech where the kinds of sounds that occur in babbling are not always immediately realized in meaningful speech.  Intentional and non-intentional  Speech is dependent to some degree on babbling. By babbling the chilled will get the chance to learn them.
  6. 6. Explaining the acquisition order of consonants and vowels  Consonants are acquired in a front-to-back order, thus, /m/,/p/, /b/, /t/ and /d/ tend to precede /k/ and /x/.  Vowels seem to be in a back-to-front order, /a/ and /o/ preceding /i/ and /Λ/.  Visibility of articulators  Ease of articulation
  7. 7. Early speech stages: naming, holophrastic, telegraphic, morphemic  Naming: one-word utterances  When do children start to say their first words?  Not at all conclusive.  The mere uttering of sound like mama may or may not     indicate word knowledge. Children can be said to have learned their first word when 1 they are able to utter a recognizable speech form, 2 this is done in conjunction with some object or event in the environment. E.g. dada
  8. 8. Holophrastic Function: One-word Utterances  Children do not only use words for objects, they use single words for expressing complex thoughts as well.  Mama as in I want mama.  Mama as in the shoe belongs to mama.  Holophrastic=>holo=>whole and phras=> indicates phrase or sentence.
  9. 9. Telegraphic Speech: Two- And Three-word Utterances  Around 2 years of age or so children begin to produce two- and three-word utterances. Table 1.1 page 9. Variety of purposes and semantic relations. Regarding the purpose, The child uses language to request, warn, name, refuse, answer, etc. and regarding semantic relations there are relations and concepts as agent, action, experiencer, receiver, etc.
  10. 10. Telegraphic Speech: Two- And Three-word Utterances Low incident of function words: • A second feature of the child’s utterances is the low incidence of function words such as articles, propositions, and the copula ‘be’.
  11. 11. Morpheme Acquisition  Ease Of Observability Of Referent  Meaningfulness Of Referent  Distinctiveness Of The Signal That Indicates The Referent.
  12. 12. Ease Of Observability  The more easily a chilled can see or hear or otherwise experience the referent, e.g. seeing a dog, smelling a cookie, hearing a car, feeling hungry, the more likely are such referent – in conjunction with the speech sounds spoken by others – to be stored in memory.  “The dog is barking” is much easier for the chilled to learn than “the dog will bark” because it involves a present ongoing action.
  13. 13. Meaningfulness of referent  Referent objects, situations, and events that are of interest to the chilled and about which the chilled desires to communicate will be learned faster than those that lack such interest. It is only natural that the chilled will remember the more highly meaningful referents.  E.g. ‘car table’, ‘car going’, ‘doll sitting’, ‘doll walking’.  So it is clear that function items have little inherent meaning for a chilled who is just beginning to learn language.
  14. 14. Distinction Of The Sound Signal That Indicate The Referent  The grater the sound distinction involved, the easier it will be for a morpheme signal to be learned.  For example lets compare the copula ‘be’ in ‘what is it?’ with the auxiliary ‘be’ in ‘Mary’s playing.’
  15. 15. Later Speech Stages: Rule Formation For Negatives And Other Complex Structures  Negative sentences, question forms, passives, and      relative clauses are just a few of the many complex rules that children acquire in their first five years. Negation is one of the earliest sentence structure rules acquired by children. Page 19, periods. Period 1 neg+U (no fall) Period 2 aux+neg (don’t fall) Period 3 almost complete sentences.
  16. 16. The Development Of Speech Comprehension  Can speech sound reach the fetus while it is still in the     uterus? Benzaquen at al. (1990). microphone inside the uterus. Lecanuet et al. (1989). The two sound sequences. DeCasper and fifer (1980). Recording of a mother reading a story. Locke (1993). Suggested that the learning of the mothers voice have occurred within the first 12 hours after the birth.
  17. 17. Speech comprehension occurs without speech production: the case of mute-hearing children  Christopher Nolan  Ann McDonald  Rie  These mute persons develop a grammar, a mental grammar based on speech comprehension that enables them to understand the language that they were exposed to.
  18. 18. In Normal Children Speech Comprehension Develops In Advance Of Speech Production  Progress goes bit by bit.  As the chilled acquires an aspect of grammar for comprehension, the chilled will then try to figure out how to use it in production.  Comprehension and production processes develop in a parallel mode, with production always trying to keep up with comprehension.
  19. 19. Speech Production Lags Behind Speech Comprehension  The Huttenlocher study 1974  He studied four young children, aged 10 to 13 months, over a six-month period and found that they were able to comprehend speech at a level beyond that to which they had progressed in production.  The Sachs and Truswell study  They found that children who could only produce single-word utterances nevertheless could comprehend syntactic structures composed of more than one word.
  20. 20. The Relation Of Speech Production, Speech Comprehension And Thought  Speech comprehension necessarily precedes speech production  In learning any of the worlds languages, children must first be able to comprehend the meaning of the language before they themselves can produce it.
  21. 21. Thought As The Basis Of Speech Comprehension  The meanings that underlie speech comprehension are concepts that are in a persons mind. speech sounds initially are simply sounds signifying nothing. The contents of thought are provided by the child’s experience of environment , i.e. dogs, cats, people, food, and events concerning those objects, and the child's experience of its own feeling, emotions, desires, and conceptual constructions (thoughts).
  22. 22. Parentese And Baby Talk  Parentese is the sort of speech that children receive when they are young. We have heard this word in brown’s book as caregiver speech. It is also known as Motherese, adult-to-child language and as childDirected Speech.
  23. 23. Characteristics of Parentese  Immediacy and concreteness  Grammaticality of input  Short sentences and simple structures  Vocabulary: simple and short  Exaggerated intonation, pitch, and stress
  24. 24. Baby talk  Baby talk is a form of Parentese but with its own characteristics. Baby talk involves the use of vocabulary and syntax that is overly simplified and reduced.  Vocabulary: bow-wow (dog) and are mostly CV  In English bow-wow and Japanese wan-wan are apparently simulation of the barking of dogs. How about in Persian. I couldn’t find one?!
  25. 25. The effect of parents and baby talk in language learning  Do Parentese and baby talk facilitate language learning? The studies done on these questions demonstrated a positive but small effect.