Semantic Development is the acquisition of the meanings of words.
In order to acquire the meanings of words, children need:
- trial and error
- to be shown things
Childrens early word meanings sometimes differ from the adult meaning for the word.
e.g. Child stomping on a spider 'I can't die this spider'
Child picks up shiny, cresent-shaped leaf 'Moon'
Overextensions are when a child uses a word for similar objects, extending the meaning in order to fill a gap in their vocabulary. The 'errors' are not copied from their parents, nor are they random.
An example of an overextension is…