Child Language Acquisition theorists

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Noam Chomsky 

  •  learning takes place through innate brain mechanism, pre -programmed with the ability to aquire grammatical structures.
  • he calls this the LAD
  • language shares many similarities, Chomsky calls this 'universal grammar'

Allan Cruttendon (1974)

  • compared adults and children to see if they could predict football results from listening  to the scores. Children up to 7 less accurate.

Jean Berko and Roger Brown (1960s)

  • It was to see how phonological errors link to children's understanding as well as ability to imitate the language surrounding them.
  • known as the 'fis' phenomenon

Katherine Nelson (1973)

  • identified four categories for first words: naming, actions/events, describing/modifying things, personal/social words
  • 60% of first words were names
  • Verbs formed the second largest group
  • Modifers came next
  • Personal/social words made up 8%

B.F Skinner

  • are conditioned into using right language based on whether they recieve positive/negative reinforcement after copying adult's behaviour
  • this is called 'social interaction'

Eve Clark

her study of first words found that children base overextensions on: the physical qualities of objects, features such as taste, sound, movement, shape, size and texture.

 Leslie Rescorla

  • three types of overextension: categorical, analogical, mismatch statements

Jean Aitchinson

  • connects children's lexical and semantical development
  • labelling, packaging and network building

Jean Piaget

  • 20th cent Swiss pyschologist - views have been very influential
  • children are active learners who use environment and social interactions to shape


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