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Language Acquisition

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Igor Rodríguez

on 7 December 2015

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Transcript of Language Acquisition

One Word Stage (approx. 12 months)

Symbolization and generalization


Two Word Stage (approx. 20 months)

"Daddy come" Daddy is coming.

"There daddy" There is daddy.

Phonetic Mastery:

Beyond two Word Stage
(towards full grammatical competence)

Regulated sequence of increased grammatical complexity

More complex clause constructions

Incorporation of grammatical variability/irregularity

Word spurt

Babble Stage (approx. 6 months)
Entails production of patterned syllables involving a CV (consonant, vowel) phoneme cluster.

Africatives [ch, j] become present at approx. 48 months

Here comes daddy!
This is for daddy.
That is where daddy sits.
This shoe is daddy’s
English: Pronouns (I, you, he, she, etc.) are acquired before articles (a, the, etc.), despite frequency in adult usage.

Beyond two Word Stage
(towards full phonetic competence)
Fricatives [s, f] present after approx. 24 months
Favored consonants: nasals [m, n] and voiced stops [b, d]
Doing things with Language (pragmatics)

Steven Pinker
Language is used to achieve a
communicative act or function.

Principles of Language Acquisition
1. Symbolization
(cognitive abstraction, concepts)
2. Tool use
3. Maturation

(human biology)
( "learning" language )
Behavioralist Explanations of Language Development
Nobody don’t like me.
No, say, ‘nobody likes me.’
Nobody don’t like me.

Listen. Say, [slow] *‘nobody *likes *me.’
Oh! Nobody don’t likes me.”

“Motherese” ?
(Infant directed speech)
Imitation ?
Corrective Feedback ?
"Daddy, what did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to out of, up for?
(see previous "cooing" YouTube video)
(correction repeats two times)
[ eated ]
[ foots ]
"All gone sticky" (while washing hands)
“can I have any story behind the dinner?”
"more outside!"
"She giggled me."
Theory of Generative Grammar

a.k.a. Theory of Universal Grammar

Charts from Crain and Lillo-Martin (2010)
Primary Linguistic Data
Language Acquisition Device
"utterances" from babbling
to adult language
Full transcript