Grammar (CLA)

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  • The development of grammar (CLA)
    • First 50 words
      • First words likely to be concrete nouns/naming words as babies likely to name the people and objects in their environment.
      • Baby's world is physical, leading to concrete nouns. Katherine Nelson (1973) found 4 categories in child's first utterances: naming (most frequent_, followed by action, modifying and social.
      • Nelson - nouns represent 60% of child's first 50 words, 8% social words
    • Holophrastic Stage
      • Common between ages of approximately 9 to 18 months
      • Holophrase - a single word representing a complex thought, eg. 'juice' could mean 'I want some juice'. 'Up' could also mean 'please lift me up' or 'I want to get up'
    • Two-word Stage
      • Occurring around age of 18 months, combination of two words.
      • Utterances often take the form of subject + verb or verb + object ('Me go' or 'Hit ball')
    • Telegraphic Stage
      • Usually occurs around approximately 24-36 months.
      • Refers to speech resembling a telegram, characterised by omission of auxiliary verbs and determiners with a focus on lexical essentials, eg. 'daddy get milk' or 'Ben feed ducks'.
      • Example: 'I eat cake. Mummy cake all gone'.
    • Post-telegraphic Stage
      • Timing of shift from telegraphic stage varies, but 30 months is likely.
      • Child's early reliance on lexical words expands to include auxiliaries, prepositions and articles but still generally omits pronouns due to lack of conceptual comprehension to perceive different contexts within which pronouns are used.
      • Example: 'Ben is sad cos we broke his toy'.
    • Inflections
      • Inflection when the morphology of a word is changed to make a new grammatical form. 'Play' to 'playING' for instance.
      • Roger Brown (1973) researched 20-36 months, following sequence: 1) -ing, 2) -s (plural), 3) -s' (possessive), 4) 'a' + 'the' (articles), 5) -ed, 6) -s (third-person singular verb ending), 7) 'be' (primary auxiliary)
      • Overuse and erroneous use of inflection a virtuous error known as 'overgeneralisation', eg. 'swimmed' instead of 'swam'
    • Negatives
      • Negatives a series of stages. Gestures and facial expressions early on to indicate displeasure, followed by reliance on negative polarity items 'no' and 'not; which can precede other words eg. 'no bed'.
        • 'No' might be then used mid-sentence and modal auxiliaries may appear eg. 'don't'.
      • By 3 years, greater range and precision in placing modal auxiliaries will be integrated into standard syntax sentences
      • At 4 years, more subtle forms of negative construction, including implied negatives eg. 'We can do that tomorrow'.
    • Questions
      • 18 months: Intonation with rising inflection (two-word stage roughly) = 'Mummy here?'
      • 2 years: Interrogative pronouns - what/where/why/how/who = 'Why Ben go?'. Recognisableas interrogative, but telegraphic since omit auxiliary verbs
      • 3 years: Auxiliary verbs and varied syntax used to form questions = 'Is apple gone?'. Subject and verb order may be reversed.

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