Phonological Development Depends on the Individual
- Children learn vowels and consonants at different speeds.
- By the time they're around 2 1/2 years old most children are able to use all the vowels in the English language.
- They might not use consonants confidently until they are 6 or 7 years old.
- Earliest consonants that tend to be mastered are nasals and voiceless plosives.
- The last ones that are mastered tend to be the 'th' sounds (such as in thought) and other sounds such as fricatives.
- Children find consonants at the beginnings of words easier than consonants at the end of words.
- Learning to pronounce things properly is difficult for children but they can still communicate. If they can't pronounce a word as adults do they use a simpler version.
- There are three main types of phonological simplification
1. Deletion - sometimes a child drops a consonant altogether, particularly at the end of a word. E.G: they might say ca instead of cat
2. Substitution - instead of dropping a consonant, a child might replace it with one that's easier to say. E.G: they might say wegs instead of legs, or tup rather than cup.
3. Cluster reduction - where there are consonant clusters a child might drop one of the consonants. E.G: the child will say geen rather than green.
Other Features of Phonological Development
1. Addition - when a vowel is added to the end of a word. E.G: dog is pronounced dogu. 2. Assimilation - when one consonant in a word is changed because of the influence of another in the same word. E.G: tub becomes bub because of the influence of the final b. 3. Reduplication - when a phoneme is repeated. E.G: Moo-moo or bik-bik. 4. Voicing - when voiceless consonants are replaces by voiced equivalents. E.G: instead of saying sock a child may say zok. 5. De-voicing - when voiced consonants are replaced by their voiceless equivalents. E.G: instead of saying bag the child may say pag.
- It takes longer to develop intonation.
- Even at the babbling stage babies begin to demonstrate intonation patterns.
- When they start to put words together it becomes even more obvious.
- It takes a child a long time to understand the complexities of intonation and stress.
- Cruttenden - found that 10 year olds had difficulty distinguising between:
- She dressed, and fed the baby (she dressed herself and fed the baby)
- She desssed and fed the baby(she dressed the baby and fed it too)
Halliday - Function of children's language
- Halliday states that the early language of children has seven functions:
1. Instrumental - to get something (E.G: 'go toily' meaning 'i want to go to the toilet')
2. Regulatory - to make requests or give orders (E.G: 'Not your teddy' meaning 'leave my teddy alone')
3. Interactional - to relate to others (E.G: 'nice mummy')
4. Personal - to convey a sense of personal identity and to express views and feelings (E.G: 'naughty doggy')
5. Heuristic - to find out about the immediate environment (E.G: 'what boy doing?')
6. Imaginative - to be creative through language that relates to imaginative play, storytelling, rhymes and humour (E.G: 'one day my daddy came home and he said...')
7. Representational - to convey information (E.G: 'I'm three')
Interacting with Others
- Children quickly learn to interact with others.
- Babies learn about social conventions even before they can speak.
- Even at the babbling stage, a child's carer might respond to their babbling as if they were having a conversation.
- As a child's pragmatic development continues, they can interact in more sophisticated ways. They will start conversations, use a full range of speech functions and show politeness features.
- They start to use more adult forms of interaction like turn-taking, adjacency pairs and opening and closing sequences.
- Non-verbal communication and non-verbal aspects of speech also become increasingly sophisticated as children grow up.