English Revision


Types of Sounds (Phonology)

Plosives: created when airflow is only patially blocked for a breif time ('stop constonants'). Voiced: bdg                       Unvoiced: ptk

Fricatives: created when airflow airflow is onlt partially blockde and air moves through the mouth in a steady stream. Voiced: v   (as in  thy), z    (as in leisure).  Unvoiced: f, t (as in thigh), s  (as in ship), h

Affirmatives: created by putting plosives and fricatives together.    Voiced: d  (as in judge).  Unvoiced: t  (as in church)).

Approximates: Similar sounds to vowels.  Voiced: w,r,j

Nasals: Produced by air flowing through the nose. Voiced: m,n,

Laterals: created by placing tounge on the ridge of teeth and then air moving down side of mouth.  Voiced: L

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How Sounds Are Produced by Age (Phonology)

Age (months)       Phoneme

24                        p, b, m, d, n, w, t

30                        k, g, h,  

36                        f, s, j, l 

42                       t, d_, v, z, _, r

48+                     __, __, __. 

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Early Phonological Errors (Phonology)

Deletion: Omitting the final consonants in words. eg do(g), cu(p).

Substitution: Substituting one sound for another (especially the 'harder' sounds that develop later __ eg 'pip' for 'ship'. 

Addition: Adding an extra vowel sound to the ends of words creating a 'CVCV' pattern. eg 'doggie'. 

Assimulation: changing one consonant or vowel for another (as in early plosive sounds 'd' and 'b') eg 'gog' for 'dog'.

Reduplication: Repeating a whole syllable. eg 'dada', 'mama'

Consonant cluster reductions: Consonant clusters can be difficult to articulate so children reduce them to smaller units. eg 'pider' for 'spider'. 

Deletion of unstressed syllables: Omitting the opening sylable in pollyslabic words. eg 'nana' for 'bannana'. 

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Nativist Theory (Chomsky) - Phonology

  • Believes children have an inbuilt capacity to acquire language and refers to this as language aquisition device (LAD). 
  • It suggests that as children learn language, they create unique utterances like 'her not hungry' and 'goed' for past tense 'go' rather than 'went.'
  • Chomsky coined the term virtuous error to refer to non-standard forms. Common instances of these include the child's formation of past tenses in verbs and plurals of the nouns eg 'holded' rather than 'held' and 'sheeps' for 'sheep'. Can also be reffered to as overgeneralisation. 
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Social Interactionist Theory - Bruner

  • Those who believe that child language develops through interaction with carrers. 
  • Social inteactioists theory stresses the fundamental of social interaction in the development of child language acquisition. To highlight the connection with Chomsky's theory LAD, Bruner coined the acronym LASS which is all about child's interaction with others. 
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Behaviourist Theory - Skinner

  • Children learn language by trial and errror method and also through imitating adults. 
  • Their behaviour is then reinforced with negative or positive feedbacl from the care giver. Known as operant conditioning a type of learning where behaviour is controlled by consequences. 
  • Berko and Brown - Fis study goes against this. 
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Critical Period - Eric Lenneburg (1967)

  • Furthered nativist argument by proposing language is acquired within a critical period - really within the first 5 years. 
  • Case studies of 'feral' children where human input has been limited, show that although some language proseses can be acquired, full gramatical fluency is never achieved. 
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Categorising First Words - Nelson (Lexis)

Katherine Nelson (1973) identified four catagories for first words: 

  • naming (things or people) - 60%
  • actions/events - action or location words like 'up' and 'down'.
  • describing/modifying things.
  • personal/social words - 8% of sample.

First words are often proper (place, person), concrete nouns (material objects).

Children can link a word and the referent (object it describes) quite easily as usually see it or a visual representation in a book.

Early vocabulary contains content words (from word classes such as nounds, verbs and adjectives.) Function words (determiners, prepositions and auxiary verbs) have a gramatical rather than a semantic function. 

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Stages of Children's grammatical development - Lex

One word/holophrastic: One word utterances. 12-18 months eg 'juice', 'daddy' - can have a number of possible meanings.

Two word: Two words combined to create simple syntactical structures. 18-24  eg 'my want' - often contains a subject or verb.

Telegraphic: Three or more words joined in increasingly complex and accurate orders. 24-36 eg 'me big girl.' 

Post-Telegraphic: Increasing awareness of gramatical rules and irregularities. 36+ eg 'my no want ball.'

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Fis Study - Berko and Brown Phonology

  • Researchers have looked at hildren's phonological errors to see how they link to their understanding of words and ideas, as well as their ability to imitate the language surrounding them. 
  • In a famous study, Burko and Brown found that a child who refered to a plastic inflatable 'fis' substituting the 's' sound for 'sh' couldn't link the adults use of 'fis' with the same object

Child: A fis         Adult: Is this your fis?        Child: no

Child: A fis         Adult: Is this your fish?      Child: Yes, my fis.

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Spatial adjectives - Eve Clark

Eve Clark's more recent research found that common adjectives ('nice', 'big') are among children's first 50 words but spatial adjectives ('wide'/'narrow', 'thick'/'thin') are acquired later.

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Three Stages of Negative Formation - Bellugi

1: The child uses 'no' or 'not' at the begining or end of a sentence. eg 'no wear shoes.'

2: Moves 'no'/'not' inside the sentence. eg 'I no want it.'

3: Attaches the negative to auxiliary verbs and the coupla very 'be' securely. eg 'no I don't want to go to the nursery.' 'I am not.'

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Three Stages of Pronouns (Bellugi) (grammar)

Found three stages: 

1) The child uses their own name eg 'Tom play.'

2) Moves 'no'/'not' inside the sentence eg 'I no want it.'

3) The child uses them according to whether they are in the subject or object position within a sentence eg 'I play with the toy.' 'Give it to me.'

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'Wug' test - Berko

  • Overgeneralisations proved by Burko who in 1950's conducted a study into children's pronounciation and morphological development. 
  • Part of this study was into the use of the -s plural. Found 3/4 of ssample formed regular plural 'wugs'.
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Taxamony of Language (Functions of Speech) - Halli

Instrumental: Fufil a need eg 'want milk.' 

Regulatory: Influence the behaviour of others eg 'pick up'.

Interactional: Develop and maintain social relationships eg 'I love you.'

Personal: Convey individual opinions, ideas and personal identity eg 'me like charlie and lola.'

Representational: Convey facts and information eg 'it hot.'

Imaginative: Create an imaginary world seen predominantly in play. eg 'me shopkeeper.'

Heuristic: Learn about the environment. eg 'wassit'.

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Langauge functions - Dore

Labelling: Naming a person, object or thing.

Repeating: Repeating an adult word or utterance.

Answering: Responding to an utterance of another speaker.

Requesing Action: Asking for something to be done for them.

Calling: Getting attention by shouting.

Protesting: Objecting to requests from others.

Practicing: Using language when no adult is present.

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Egocentric Speech - Piaget

The running discourse style of speech used by children where no listener is directly addressed and the talk is focused on child's activities.

Coined the term to describe his observations of children talking when alone, seeing it as thir way to classify their experiances and environment. 

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Positive and negative politeness

Politeness extends to the way converstaions are maintained, encompassing the face theory proposed by Brown and Levinson. Suggested two main aspects of face in communicative interactions:

-Positive: where the individual desires social approval and being included.

-Negative: where individual asserys their own decisions. 

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Role Playing - Garvey

  • Study of pairs of children playing found children adopt roles and identities, accing out storylines and settings as required in a role-playing scenario. Termed pretend play and fufills Halliday's imaginative language function. 
  • Children play together becuase it's enjoyable but also practises social interactions and negation skills with players roles and repsonsibilities often decided as they play. 
  • Sometimes called sociodramatic play, it involves both social and dramatic skills with explicit rules and reflecting real-world behaviour. Starts around age 4.
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Play Linked to Social and Cognitive Development -

  • Observed children's play and linked it both to cognitive and social development. Young children often use props as 'pivots' to support their play but when older use their immagination instead. 
  • Vygotsky also obseerved how children role-play adults behaviours as part of exploring their environment which has interested more recent researchers. 
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Child Directed Speech (CDS)

Any various speech patterns used by parents or caregivers when communicating with young children particulaly infants, usually involving simplified vocabulary, melodic pitch, repetitive questioning and a slow or deliberate tempo.

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Language Acquisition Support System - Bruner

  • Refers to the child's interaction with the adults around them and how this interaction supports language development.
  • He particually looked at ritualised activities that occur dail in young children;s lives - meal times, bedtimes, reading books - and how carers make the rules and meaning of these interactions explicit and predictable so that children can learn. BRuner uses 'Peek-a-boo' as an example. As well as non-verbal actions, accompinied by phrases and prosodic indicators such as pitch and innotation. So for Bruner, this teaches children important linguistic aspects of turn taking, formulaic utterances and syntax.
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Object Permenance - Piaget

  • Piaget would use 'Peek-a-boo' to test object permanace where children understand rhat an object still exists even when it is no longer in sight. 
  • Some also link object permanace with lexical growth from 36 months as well as the emerging abillity to use personal pronouns distinguishing between 'I', 'me' and 'you.' 
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Developing meanings (Lexis)

  • Common for children to overextend a words meanings. Children link objects with similar qualities and may for example, apply the word 'dog' to all four-legged household pets. 
  • Less frequently, children underextend a word by giving it a narrower definition that it really has for example, may use 'duck' to describe a fluffy cartoon duck and not the brown ones at the local pond. 
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Eva Clark (Lexis) - overextension

Eva Clark's study of first words found children base overextensions on:

  • the physical qualities of an object. 
  • Features such as tatse, sound, movements, shape, size and texture. 
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Leslie Rescorla (lexis) - overextension

In other research, Leslie Rescourla divided overextensions into three types:

  • Catagorical overextension: name for one member of a catagory is extended to all members of the catagory eg apple used for all round fruits = 60% of overextension. 
  • Analogical overextension: A word for one object is extended to one in a different catagory usually on the basis that it has some physical or functioning connection eg ball is used for a round fruit = 15% overextension. 
  • Mismatch Statements: One word sentences that appear quite abstract; child makes a statement about one object in relation to another eg saying 'duck' when looking at an empty pond. = 25% of overextension. 
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Atchinson's stages of children's linguistic develo

Atchinson's connects children's lexial and semantic development

1, Labelling: Linking words to the objects to which they refer understanding that things can be labelled. 

2. Packaging: Exploring the labels and tto what they can apply over/under extension occurs in order to eventually understand the range of a word's meanings. 

3. Network-building: making connections between words, understanding similarities and opposites in meanings.

Once children expand their vocabulary they use network building to sort the words. An aspect of this stage in undertsanding of hyponymy the links between lexical items that divides hypernyms and hyponyms eg if you take 'clothes' as the hyppernym, you could list all the hyponyms a child could use for specific items of clothing they wear like socks, coats etc. 

When they have a larger vocabulary, (18+) they may use these more accucraley and precisely to identify individual items of clothing...

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Telegraphic stage questions ( grammar)


Rising tone, later yes/no interogatives formed may involve changing word order and using auxiliary verbs. Other questions require words 'what', 'where', 'when,' 'why.' Appears fairly on in development and frequently used correctly at begining of sentence. 

Inversion of the subject and auxiliary (coupla verb) does not happen until later eg 'where is mummy.'

Question acquisition order: what (subject or object,) where (location), why (reason), when (time).

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