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Study of Language
Acquisition
A-level
Notes from textbook and notebook

Ricard Marzo
22/12/2011

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Content


Glossary......................................................................
...........................1

Early Language
Development...........................................................16

Phonological and Pragmatic
Development.....................................17

Theories of Language
Development................................................18

Social
Interaction..................................................................
..............20

Lexis, Grammar and
Semantics........................................................21

Learning to
Read........................................................................
........22

Learning to
Write........................................................................
.......23

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Early language Development
Even in the womb, babies become familiar with the sounds, rhythms and intonations of
language.

Babies start to use their vocal cords straight away, in pre-verbal stage. For example
crying ­ makes the caregiver aware that the baby needs something.

Cooing stage (six to eight weeks old):…

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Phonological and Pragmatic Development
There are three ways of phonological simplification: deletion, substitution, and
cluster reduction

1) Deletion: sometimes a child drops a consonant altogether, normally at the end
of a word, ca instead of cat.

2) Substitution: instead of dropping a consonant, a child might replace it with an…

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Theories of Language Development
Skinner:

1) Suggested that language is acquired through imitation and reinforcement

a) Children repeat what they hear

b) Caregivers reward a child's efforts with praise

c) With repetition and correcting the child to reinforce

2) This imitation theory says that children learn all specific pronunciations of…

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1) Suggests there is a language acquisition support system (LASS), where
caregivers support the child's linguistic development in social situations.

2) Clear patterns of interaction between child and caregiver in everyday social
situations. Caregiver must create conversation and encourage a response, tag
questions, as a result of linguistic support child…

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Caregivers talk to children with Child-directed Speech (CDS). This language is often
simplified or exaggerated in order to encourage a child to interact.

Phonology and Prosody:

1) Intonation is exaggerated and words are stress, What a good girl you are, Annie.
The pitch is normally higher.

2) Words are repeated…

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When children are between 12 and 18 months they will begin to improvise. This takes
two main forms - underextension and overextension:

1) Underextension is when the child uses a word in a very restricted way. When a
child says `hat' but only refers to one specific hat

2) Overextension…

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