Child language key words

terms and theories to do with A2 AQA language exam- child language aquisition 

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  • Speech
    • Phonology
      • Phonemic contraction- child then reduces the sounds to only those they need for their own language
        • Phonemic expansion- child increases the variety of sounds produced
          • shows that children have the potential to learn any language
      • Universal Grammar- explanation that all world languages share the principles of grammar despite differences in lexis/ phonology
        • Language Acquisition (LAD)- the humans inbuilt capacity to acquire language
      • Diphthong- a vowel in which there is a change in quality during a syllable
      • Phoneme- smallest unit in the sound system
      • idiolect- an individuals own 'linguistic fingerprint'
    • Grammar
      • syntax- the way words are arranged to make sentences
      • Copula verb- a verb used to join a subject to a complement
      • Questions- What, were, why, when- certain order
      • Negatives- abilty to use negation needs syntatic awareness
      • Deixis- lexical items that point towards something and place words in context
      • Pronouns- people involved (I/you), subject/object (I/me), number (I/we), gender (s/he) and possesion (mine)
      • Determiners- another function word later in development. They attached to nouns: articles (a,the), numerals (one), possessives (my), quantifiers (some, many) or demonstratives (this)
      • Stages of child grammaticaldevelopment
    • Lexis & Semantics
      • Holophrase- a single word expressing a whole idea
        • Proto- word- an invented word that has a consistent meaning
      • Positive reinforcement- when a behaviour is rewarded to encourage this behaviour to be repeated
        • Negative Reinforcement- when a behaviour is unrewarded with the intention that it will not be repeated
      • Content word- type of word that has an independent meaning (nouns, verbs & adjectives)
        • Function word- word that is largely to express a grammatical relationship (determiners, preopsitions & auxiliary verbs) formed after content words
      • discourse- conversation
      • Over extension- feature of child's language where the word used to label something is stretched in meaning
        • Under extension- feature of a child's language where the word used to label is reduced to include only part of its normal meaning
      • Aitchison's stages of child linguistic development
    • Morphology
      • Inflectional morphology- the alteration of words to make new grammatical forms
      • Derivational morphology- the creation of new words by adding prefixes and suffixes
      • Free morpheme- one that can stand alone as an independent word (apple)
        • Bound morpheme- one that cannot stand alone but must be attached to another morpheme (-s, -er)
      • Virtuous error- syntactic errors made by children that shows some understanding of standard syntax
      • Overgeneralisation- a learners extension of a word meaning or grammatical rule beyond its normal use
      • Stative verb- verb that describes a state (feel- the emotion/abstract concept)
        • Dynamic verb (type of verb that expresses activities (feel- feeling something tangible)
      • Piaget;s cognitive theory
    • Context
      • who participates?
      • Relationship?
      • setting?
      • child development stage/age?
      • any cultural or social factors?
      • Vygotsky
    • Pragmatics
      • pragmatics- the factors that influence why we choose to say one thing rather than another
      • Egocentric speech- running discourse style of speech used by children where no listener is directly addressed
      • Halliday's functions of speech
      • Dore's language functions
      • Politeness theory- Levinson and Brown


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