When does Language Acquisition begin?

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4 beginning stages

  • Before birth
  • Crying- child is trying to communicate
  • Cooing- child is exercising vocal equipment
  • Babbling- important stage

Further aspects:

  • Reduplicated monosyllables- one syllable words that are repeated e.g. 'ma' 'da'
  • Phonemic expansion/contraction- picking particular sounds to use and getting rid of un-needed sounds. Here you can tell what language the child is going to speak
  • Understanding: associating words with objects
  • Intonation and gesture
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One word/holophrastic stage

  • 12-18 months
  • Only one word is used
  • These are not one word sentences as they have a grammatical function (holophrases) e.g. blanket:
  • Where is my blanket?
  • I want my blanket
  • That blanket is mine
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Two word stage

  • 18 months-2 years
  • This is where real grammar starts
  • There is a gradual change rather than an abrupt change
  • Involves putting 2 utterances together in a non rhythmic way e.g. daddy no
  • Lengthy sequences of holophrases may appear but using 2 utterances will become increasingly common

Word phrases have several meanings:

  • Actor performing action e.g. daddy drive
  • Action affecting an object e.g. push pram
  • Object is giving a location e.g. apple there
  • Object is given a description e.g. apple shiny
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Telegraphic stage

  • 2 years
  • 3/4 words are used
  • Differ in syntax: can be declarative, interrogative or imperative
  • Telegraphic feature: missing out function words and only including content words
  • Age 3: telegraphic element disappears and child enters post telegraphic stage
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