Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

First language acquisition

1,162 views

Published on

Overview of how a first language is acquired.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

First language acquisition

  1. 1. Acquisition <ul><li>We have an innate capacity to learn languages. </li></ul><ul><li>This enables children to construct the grammar of the language in spite of the poverty of the stimulus. </li></ul>
  2. 2. How does acquisition proceed? <ul><li>Children learn not the language per se, but the grammar of language - the rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Past tense: add –ed </li></ul><ul><li>walk, walked </li></ul><ul><li>break, *breaked </li></ul><ul><li>Acquire rule, but memorise exceptions. </li></ul>
  3. 3. How do we know how children learn? <ul><li>naturalistic/observational methods: </li></ul><ul><li>diary studies </li></ul><ul><li>watch children play, interact, and record language on audio and videotape. </li></ul><ul><li>experimental studies: </li></ul><ul><li>comprehension: interpret sentences </li></ul><ul><li>John asked Tom to shut the door - who should? </li></ul><ul><li>production: describe pictures (e.g., the wug test) </li></ul><ul><li>imitation: children can only imitate if they have rule: Mummy is going -> Mummy going </li></ul>
  4. 4. What are the stages of language development? <ul><li>1 month </li></ul><ul><li>3 months </li></ul><ul><li>1 year </li></ul><ul><li>18 months </li></ul>Discrimination can tell ba from pa prefer own language prefer motherese Babbling larynx descends bilabials m, b, p deaf children babble Words 2-word strings
  5. 5. Emergence of words <ul><li>Objects milk, dog, baby </li></ul><ul><li>Actions go, run </li></ul><ul><li>Social functions hello </li></ul><ul><li>Perception precedes production </li></ul><ul><li>R It’s your [  ] </li></ul><ul><li>C No, my [  ] </li></ul><ul><li>R Oh, your [  . </li></ul><ul><li>C Yes, [  ] </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2 word strings <ul><li>18 months </li></ul><ul><li>minimum required for syntax. </li></ul><ul><li>children acquire one word every two hours until adolescence </li></ul><ul><li>more milk </li></ul><ul><li>Mummy come </li></ul><ul><li>no pee </li></ul><ul><li>eat grape </li></ul>
  7. 7. How do children acquire syntax? production bottleneck
  8. 8. Developmental sequences <ul><li>1. ING </li></ul><ul><li>2. in, on </li></ul><ul><li>3. plural 's' </li></ul><ul><li>4. possessive 's' </li></ul><ul><li>5. the, a </li></ul><ul><li>6. ed </li></ul><ul><li>7. 3rd P sing 's' </li></ul>
  9. 9. Operating principles <ul><li>1. pay attention to the ends of words (suffixes are acquired before prefixes) </li></ul><ul><li>5. straightforward relationship between form and meaning helps (3 English 's' is hard) </li></ul><ul><li>6. lack of exceptions helps (irregular verbs are hard) </li></ul><ul><li>7. lack of allomorphic variation helps (English past is hard (walked, hummed, limited)) </li></ul><ul><li>8. absence of homophones helps (English 's' is hard) </li></ul><ul><li>9. clear semantic function helps (3rd person sing present is hard) </li></ul>
  10. 10. How do children learn exceptions to rules? <ul><li>RULE </li></ul><ul><li>Add –ed </li></ul><ul><li>finded </li></ul><ul><li>MEMORY </li></ul><ul><li>Find form </li></ul><ul><li>found </li></ul>find <ul><li>Rule + memory </li></ul><ul><li>founded </li></ul>
  11. 11. When memory fails . . . <ul><li>Rule applies find -> finded </li></ul><ul><li>When collective memory fails . . </li></ul><ul><li>strive, strove becomes strive, strived </li></ul><ul><li>cleave, clove becomes cleave, clove </li></ul>LANGUAGE CHANGE
  12. 12. Why does it take three years before children can talk properly? <ul><li>The brain is a complicated machine which takes time to run in. </li></ul><ul><li>Humans have extremely large heads, which presents problems at birth, given the size of the female pelvis. </li></ul><ul><li>If human children spent the same proportion of their lifespan in utero as other primates, they would be born at 18 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Eighteen months is the age at which </li></ul><ul><li>language begins to emerge </li></ul><ul><li>children begin to walk and need to understand language </li></ul>

×