Semantics (CLA)

Revision cards about semantic development, with theorists. 

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Semantic 'Mistakes'

  • Overextensions - the child stretches the menaing of the word to apply to something it shouldn't apply to. E.g. Dog - all four legged household pets.
  • Underextension - the child limits the meaning of the word to only part of its usual meaning. E.g. Duck only applying to a cuddly toy duck and not the ducks at the pond.  
  • Underextensions are less common than overextensions.
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Eve Clark

  • Found that children apply overextensions based on: 
      • Physical qualities of objects
      • Features such as taste, sound, movement, shape, size and texture.  
  • Children experience the world through their senses, not abstract thought, and make connections based on them. 
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Leslie Rescorla

  • Divided overextensions into 3 types: 
      • Categorical overextension - label applied to all members of a category -eg all round fruits are apples - 60% 
      • Analogical overextension - label extended to a different category, usually via physical function or connection. - eg 'ball' used for round fruit - 15% 
      • Mismatch statements - one-word sentences, seemingly abstract, making a statement about one object in relation to another - eg saying 'duck' when looking at an empty pond - 25% 
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  • Hyponymy is the hierarchical structure that exists between lexical items. 
  • Children need to learn hyponymy to organise their vocabulary, and it is dependent on semantics. 
  • Hypernym - a word which is more general or generic and can have more specific words below it in the heirarchy.
  • Hyponym - a more specific word within a category or under a hypernym. 
  • It is possible for a word to be both a hypernym and a hyponym, depending on the range of the child's vocabulary. 
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Jean Aitchison

  • 3 developmental stages for linguistic and semantic development.
      • Labelling - linking words to the objects they refer to 
      • Packaging - exploring what the labels can apply to, over/underextensions help child to learn the word's range of meaning. 
      • Net-work building - making connections between words, creating hyponymy, understanding similarities and opposites in menaing. 
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  • 18 mths onward - with a larger vocabulary, children use hyponyms more accurately
  • Can begin to use synonyms e.g. using both 'quack-quack' and 'duck'
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Adjective Acquisition - Eve Clark

  • Common adjectives e.g. nice' and 'big' are ammong first 50 words.
  • Spatial adjectives are acquired later e.g. 'wide', 'thick', 'thin, 'narrow' 
  • Could be due to cognitive development - need to understand spatial concepts before they can use spatial adjectives (explanation using Piaget) 
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