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The acquisition process

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The acquisition process

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  2. 2. • As the linguistic repertoire of the child increases, it is often assumed that the child is, in some sense, being “taught” the language. • This idea is not really supported by what the child actually does. 2
  3. 3. • For the vast majority of children, no one provides any instruction on how to speak the language. • Nor should we picture a little empty head gradually being filled with words and phrases. • A more accurate view would have the children actively constructing ,from what is said to them, possible ways of using language. • The child’s linguistic production appears to be mostly a matter of trying out constructions and testing whether they work or not. 3
  4. 4. • It is simply not possible that the child is acquiring the language principally through a process of imitating adult speech. • Certainly, children can be heard to repeat versions of what adults say on occasion and they are clearly in the process of adopting a lot of vocabulary from speech they hear. 4
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  6. 6. • However, adults simply do not produce many expressions that turn up in children’s speech. 6
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  8. 8. • NOAH: (picking up a toy dog ) • ( He bobs the toy in Adam’s face. ) • ADAM: (Noah persists) ADAM: 8
  9. 9. • It is also that adult “ corrections” are a very effective determiner of how the child speaks. • A lot of amusing conversational snippets, involving an adult’s attempt to correct a child’s speech, seem to demonstrate the hopelessnes of the task. 9
  10. 10. • Even when the correction a more is attempted in a more subtle manner, the child will continue to use a personally constructed form, despite the adult’s repetition of what the correction form should be. 10
  11. 11. In the dialog the child, a four-year-old, is neither imitating the adult’s speech nor accepting the adult’s correction. • Child: My teacher holded the baby rabbits and patted them. • Mother: Did you say your teacher held the baby rabbits? • Child: Yes. • Mother: What did you say she did? • Child: She holded the baby rabbits and we patted them. • Mother: Did you say she held them tightly? • Child: No she holded them loosely. 11
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  13. 13. • One two-year-old, described in Weir, was tape-recorded as he lay in bed alone and could be heard playing with words and phrases, • • I Go dis way… way bay…baby do dis bib… all bib…bib…dere. 13
  14. 14. • Word play of this type seems to be an important element in the development of the child’s linguistic repertoire. • The details of this development beyond the telegraphic stage have been traced through the linguistic features that begin to turn up on a regular basis in the steady stream of speech emerging from the little chatterbox. 14
  15. 15. • By the time a child is two-and-a-half years old, he or she is going beyond telegraphic speech forms and incorporating some of the inflectional morphemes that indicate the grammatical function of nouns and verbs used. DEVELOPING MORPHOLOGY 15
  16. 16. L1 Morpheme Acquisition Order (Brown 1973) Three children, Longitudinal study: • present progressive -ing  cat sitting  mommy reading book 16
  17. 17. • -s (plural) :boys/ two cats !!! The child overgeneralizes the apparent rule of adding –s to plurals and will talk about foots /mans 17
  18. 18. •irregular past forms: Baby went •-’s (possessive): Dady’s hat •Copula: Annie is a nice girl 18
  19. 19. • articles: the and a  a book/ the girl • Regular past: -ed  She walked. !!!The child overgeneralizes the apparent rule of adding –ed and will talk about doed/ comed /goed /wented 19
  20. 20. 3rd person singular simple present: -s  She runs. • auxiliary ‘be’: He is coming. 20
  21. 21. Similar evidence against “imitation” as the basis of the child’s speech production has been found in studies of the syntactic structures used by young children. DEVELOPING SYNTAX 21
  22. 22. • One child, specifically asked to repeat what she heard, would listen to an adult say forms such as the owl who eats candy run fast and then repeat them in the form owl eat candy and he run fast. • It is clear that the child understands what the adult is saying. • She just has her own way of expressing it. 22
  23. 23. • Stage 1: occurs between 18 month and 26 months • Stage 2: between 22 and 30 month • Stage 3: between 24 and 40 month FORMING QUESTION 23
  24. 24. • (the overlap in the periods during which children go through these stages is a natural effect of the different rates at which different children normally develop these and other structures.) 24
  25. 25. Children’s earliest questions are single words or simple two- or three-word sentences with rising intonation: Cookie? Mommy book? !!!At the same time, of course, they may produce some correct questions- correct because they have been learned as formulaic ‘chunks’: Where’s daddy? What’s that? 25
  26. 26. :when their sentences grow longer, and they begin to ask more new questions, children use the word order of the declarative sentence. With ‘yes’ ‘no’ questions, they simply add rising intonation. With wh- questions, they put a question word at the beginning: You like this? I have some? Why you catch it? !!!At this stage they may continue to produce the correct ‘chunk-learned’ forms such as ‘what’s that? alongside their own created questions. 26
  27. 27. Gradually, they notice that the structure of questions is different and begin to produce questions such as: Can i go? Is that mine? !!! Furthermore , at this stage, wh- questions usually retain the declerative word order: Why you don’t have one? 27
  28. 28. children begin to use subject-auxiliary inversion and even add ‘do’ in sentences in which there would be no auxiliary in the declerative version of the sentence: Do you like ice-cream? • !!! It sometimes seems thet they can either use inversions or use a wh- word, but not both. Therefore, we may find inversion in ‘yes/no‘ questions but not in wh- questions, except formulas such as’ whats’s that? Which may still be used : Can he eat the cookie? Where i can draw them? 28
  29. 29. eventually children combine both operations: Why he can’t go out? 29
  30. 30. :finally, when performance on question is correct and well established, there is still one more hurdle. When wh- words appear in subordinate clauses or embedded questions, children overgeneralize the inverted form and produce sentences such as: I don’t know why can’t he go out. 30
  31. 31. • By the age of four, most of English speaking children have passed through these developmental stages and ask questions that are both grammatical and appropriate. • This does not mean that they never slip back to an earlier stage. • Overall, however, their speech shows that they have acquired this part of their language. 31
  32. 32. : the child’s first negatives are usually expressed by the word ‘no’ , either alone or as the first word in the utterence. No go. No comb. • !!! Some children even adopt the word ‘any’ as a negator. Perhaps with an accompanying shake of the head. Any bath! 32
  33. 33. as utterances grow longer, and the sentences subject is included, the negative usually appears just before the verb. Daddy no comb hair. 33
  34. 34. at this stage, the negative element is inserted into into a more complex sentence. • Children may add forms the negative other than no, including words like ‘can’t’ and don’t. • These sentences appear to follow the correct English pattern of attaching the negative to the auxiliary or modal verb. • However, the negative words don’t yet vary these forms for different persons or tenses: I can’t do it. He don’t want it. 34
  35. 35. later, children begin to attach the negative element to the correct form of auxiliary verbs such as ‘do’ and ’be’, and modal verbs such as ‘can’: You didn’t have supper. She doesn’t want it. • There may be still have difficulty with some other features related to negatives. I don’t have no more candies. 35
  36. 36. • The anecdotes that parents retell about their child’s early speech (to the intense embarrasment of the grown-up child) usually involve examples of the strange use of words. DEVELOPING SEMANTICS 36
  37. 37. • Having been warned that flies bring germs into the house , one child was asked what “germs” were and the answer was “something the flies play with.” • It ıs not always possible to determine so precisely the meaning that children attach to the words they use. 37
  38. 38. • It seems that during the stage many children use their limited vocabulary to refer to a large number of unrelated objects. • One child first used bow-wow to refer to a dog and then to a fur piece with glass eyes, a set of cufflinks and even a bath thermometer. • The word bow-wow seemed to have a meaning like “ object with shiny bits.” other children often extend bow-wow to refer to cats, cows and horses. 38
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  40. 40. • The word ball is extended to all kinds of round objects: 40
  41. 41. • One interesting feature of the young child’s semantic is the way certain lexical relations are treated. In terms of , the child will almost use the “middle” – level term in a hyponymous set such as animal-dog- poddle. • It would seem more logical to learn the most general term(animal), but all evidence indicates that children first use dog with an overextended meaning close to the meaning of “animal”. 41
  42. 42. • It also seems that antonymous relations are acquired fairly late. • ın one study, a large number of kindergarten children pointed to the same heavily laden apple tree when asked which tree has more apple? And also when asked which tree has less apples? • They just seem to think the correct response will be the larger one, disregarding the difference between a number of other pairs such as before/after and buy/sell also seem to be later acquisitions. 42
  43. 43. • Despite the fact that the child is still to acquire a large number of other aspects of his or her first language through the later years of childhood,it is normally assumed that, by the age of five, the child has completed the greater part of the basic language acquisition process. • According to some, the child is then in a good position to start learning a second language. 43
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