Lexis and Semantics (Child Language Acquisition)

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  • Created on: 31-12-12 15:03
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Child Language Acquisition
Lexis and Semantics
First Words:
Katherine Nelson identified four categories of first words.
Names: 60% of first words. Usually concrete.
Words that are absent are usually those with a grammatical function.
18 Months
Children learn groups of words.
Hyponymy: An X is a kind of Y. Link between words.
Hypernym: General word. Trees.
Hyponym: Specific word member of a class. An oak is a type of tree.
Over/Underextension begins to appear.
Underextension: Word is given a narrow meaning. One object = One name.
Overextension (O/E): Word is given a broad, general meaning. Dog = All four legged
Leslie Recorla identified three types of O/E
Categorical O/E:
o Apple = all fruits. (60%)
Analogical O/E: One objected extended to one in a different cateogory.
o Ball = round fruit. (15%)
Mismatch Statements: Statements about a connection.
o Says `duck' to an empty pond. (25%)
Like phonology, children's understanding might be ahead of their ability to reproduce the word.
Research found children who call all four legged animals `dog' could usually correctly
point out dog in a picture of various four legged animals.
Aitchison identified three stage of developing vocabulary.
1. Labelling: Making link. Mummy > Child's mother.
2. Packaging: Understand range of meaning. Over/Underextension occurs before this
stage can happen.
3. Network Building: Connections between words. Understanding of


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