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Marco Ball-Albarran

Child Language ­ Learning to talk
Once argued to be a biologically determined process alongside physical and mental growth.
Cannot be true because children deprived of human contact in extreme human isolation do
not acquire language.
If language were innate and liked only to biological factors, even after…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

Age range Description of stage Developmental Phenomena
0-2 years Sensorimotor- Baby explores through 5 Object Permanence ­ The awareness that an
senses. Initially grasping, sucking object exists even though not visible. Shake
reflexes. Grabbing objects and exploring a rattle and gain attention of 3month old
it with mouth.…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

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Marco Ball-Albarran

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Marco Ball-Albarran

Basic principles of all the above theories
They all highlight a particular element of child language acquisition, but none can provide a full
explanation on their own.
Their basic principles are that:

To acquire language, children must be part of a social and linguistic community
Physical development plays…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

Interaction with other people gives children a purpose ­ if they can acquire language, they
will be able to participate in the communication going on around them.
It usually starts by using different kinds of cries to attract attention to their needs, but as
they grow they use…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

children create imaginary situations, or
may arise from storytelling

Similarly, John Dore describes language functions that focus more on individual differences-
`Infant Language Functions'

Infant language Description Example
Labelling Naming or identifying a person, object or "Mummy" when
experience mother returns. "Me
like that" when seeing a…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

Stages of development
It's possible that in the womb that have already become accustomed to sounds of the native
When a child is born, it cannot speak or understand, yet it can recognise
its mother's voice Evolutionary advantage ­ Stay closer to mother, know
that mother…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

Stage one (0-8 weeks basic biological noises)
Vocal sounds reflect biological stages and activities
hunger, pain, discomfort = causes crying/fussing (reflexive noises)
Vocal folds vibrate strongly, pitch falls sharply- quality similar to [a]
Not easy to attribute different functions to cries at this early stage
Nothing language specific…

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Marco Ball-Albarran

Stage 4 (25-50 weeks canonical babbling)
Less varied than vocal play, less experimentation but more control- smaller sets of sounds,
yet greater frequency and stability to produce. Bababada ­ reduplicated babbling
containing consonant vowel (CV) syllables
Half way through this stage, the child develops variegated babbling ­ consonant…




Unbelievable - excellent.

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