Cognitive - Jean Piaget
- Suggests you can only understand language when you understand the concepts behind it.
- e.g. Someone can talk in past tense when they know about time.
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Behaviorist - Skinner
- Learn through imitation.
- Doesn't explain where new sentences come from.
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Nativist - Chomsky
- Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
- Works out what is/isn't acceptable language use using innate programmed patterns (which are general).
- Exact rules learnt through trial and error.
- His theory supports the fact that children around the world seem to develop at a similar pace, irrespective of race/culture/mother tongue (This also 'defies' Skinner's model.)
- Also indicates the fact that there is a universal grammar amongst all world languages.
- States that children consistently create new forms of language that they have not heard before.
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Nativist - John Macnamara
- Differs from Chomsky in that he believes children read meaning into social situations.
- He states that it is this, rather than LAD, that makes children capable of learning language.
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Importance of Social Interaction - Bard and Sachs
- Studied a boy called 'Jim', who was son of two deaf parents.
- Although he was exposed to T.V and Radio his speech development was especially slow.
- This was rectified when he spoke to a speech therapist.
- The results imply that human interaction is neccessary when children learn to talk.
- Jim was ready to learn to speech but without the social interaction he was unable to do so.
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Interactive - caretaker, motherese etc
- Slower pace than adult conversations.
- Often simplified sentences and repitition used.
- Tag questions used by parents to encourage responses and involve the child.
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Nouns - Katherine Nelson
- Nelson found that 60% of children's early word phrases contained nouns.
- She found that verbs, pre-modification and phatic followed.
- She also said that the nouns were commonly things that surrounded the children e.g. ball, mum, cat.
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Michael Halliday came up with seven functions of speech:
- Instrumental: To fulfil a need (e.g. "want milk")
- Regulatory: To influence the behavior of others (e.g. "pick up")
- Interactional: To develop and maintain social relationships. (e.g. "love you")
- Personal: To convey individual opinions, ideas and personal identity (e.g. me like Charlie and Lola")
- Representational: To convey facts and information (e.g. "it's hot)
- Imaginative: To create an imaginary world and may be seen in play predominately (e.g. "me shopkeeper")
- Heuristic: Learn about the environment (e.g. "wassat?")
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Dore's Language Functions
John Dore came up with eight functions of speech:
- Labelling: Naming a person, object or thing.
- Repeating: Repeating an adult word or utterance.
- Answering: Responding to an utterance of another speaker.
- Requesting action: Asking for something to be done for them.
- Calling: Getting attention by shouting.
- Greeting: Greeting someone or something.
- Protesting: Objecting to requests from others.
- Practising: Using language when no adult is present.
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