Grammatical development is the acquisition of rules of language/sentences.
The holophrastic stage (12-18 months)
The holophrastic stage is sometimes alos known as the one word stage.
- Single word utterances such as: gone, bye-bye, more, dada and teddy are produced and function as phrases or sentences. (Single word utterances are also known as holophrases)
- Sometimes children produce longer utterances, these are learned as whole phrases and used as single units. e.g. allgone, gosleep
Dada - used in 3 different ways
1) "Dada?" - interrogative (rising intonation)
2) "Dada." - declarative (falling intonation)
3) "Dada!" - imperative/exclamative
Most single word utterances are nouns (60%) and verbs (20%). The preposition 'in' is used as a verb in this stage.
The two word stage (18-24 months)
By the time a child is 2 years old, there will be a variety of combinations: mummy eat, cat bad, no Abi.
1) POSSESSION - this is baby's chair
2) REQUEST/COMMAND - put baby in the chair
3) STATEMENT - baby is in the chair
When children do so, the adult behaves as though normal communication is taking place. The child will await feedback, to confirm that their utterance has worked.
During the two word stage, children will start to use some inflections (e.g. present participle ending -ing).
Questions also appear at this stage, usually marked by rising intonation e.g. 'eat cheese?'
At the end of this stage, the first negative words emerge e.g. 'no' and 'not'.
Roger Brown's semantic roles
Roger Brown and his colleges studied two-word sentences from children. They analysed the types of meanings that children were expressing (semantic roles) and found that at the two word stage, the majority of utterances have the same basic set of meanings and the word order is consistent.
Semantic Roles Example Context
Agent + action daddy kick dad kicks ball
Action + affected throw stick child throws stick
Agent + affected me ball child kicks ball
Action + location sit chair child sits on chair
Entity + loaction spoon table spoon is on the table
Entity + attribute kitty big see's tigers in the zoo
Possessor + Possession daddy coat points to dad's coat
Nomination that cake that is a cake
Recurrence more ball finds a second ball
Negation no ball has lost her ball
Agent - person or thing doing an action
Action - verb
Entity - person or thing being described/located
Affected - has an action done to it
Attribute - the description
Location - where something is
Nomination - involves labelling persons or objects (that)
Recurrence - expresses the repetition of objects (more)
Negation - expresses denial, rejection or non existence (no)
The telegraphic stage (2-3 years)
Between 2-3 years, the child will begin producing a large number of utterances which can be classified as multiple word utterances.
These utterances tend to be grammatically correct and follow the SVO (Subject Verb Object) word order. e.g. Amy (S) likes (V) tea (O).
Others will have grammatical elements missing.