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Language taxonomies

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Michael Halliday
Children learn language as it fulfils key functions.
Initially a child's language functions fall into 4
basic categories; instrumental, regulatory,
interactional and personal. These are followed
when the child is slightly more comfortable with its
environment with representational, heuristic and
imaginative language functions.…read more

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Instrumental language is when a child uses language
to fulfil its needs such as to access food, drink,
comfort etc
Examples of instrumental language include `hug' ,
`blankie' and `milk'…read more

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Regulatory language functions are used to influence
other's behaviour. The child has awareness that there
speech will have a reaction such as being fed or being
hugged. Regulatory speech is a more sophisticated
form of instrumental speech with children telling or
asking what they want.
An example of regulatory speech would be; `me want
hug', `gimme milk'…read more

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Interactional language is language which is used to
initiate, develop and maintain social relationships.
Its purpose is to engage in phatic talk with others.
examples of interactional language include `charlotte
love mummy' or `ello'…read more

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Personal language is language used to express
speaker's personal preferences and promote their
individual identity. The purpose of personal
language is to refer people to themselves, this is why
this speech function is also referred to as the `here I
am' function of speech.
An Example of personal language includes `charlotte
happy girl'…read more

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