P R E S E N T E D B Y: Z A R M EEN SI D I U I D Q ( 8362 )


Language is an organized means of combining words in order to communicate. Receptive language: comprehension or understanding of language. Productive language: language expression or speaking.

Language learning involves four kinds of knowledge

the sound system of

language. Semantics: the meaning conveyed by words and by sentences. Syntax: the set of grammatical rules indicating how words may and may not be combined to make sentences. Pragmatics: the principles determining how language

Stages of language development

Stage Telegraphic period Subsequent development

One-word Stage

known as holophrastic period, meaning that children are trying to convey much more meaning than their utterances. Children till the age of 18 months try to convey messages through only one word. Nelson (1970) studied that children till this age utter 50 words which are categorized into 6. 1.Class of objects e.g. cat, dog, car,

3.Action words, e.g. go, come, sit 4.Modifiers, e.g. small, large, less 5.Social words, e.g. please, yes, no, sorry 6.Function words, e.g. for, where, there, with Over extension, that is when a child uses one word to cover many objects, e.g. calling every woman mom. Whereas Under extension, is the opposite in which meaning given to a word covers too few objects e.g.

Telegraphic period

shortly after 18 months It consists of mainly 2 word utterances focusing on the content word and omitting function words. Telegraphic speech is based on rules, in which distributional analysis by Braine is included. This considers the frequency with which different words occurred in children’s speech,


analysis suggested that early speech consists of two classes of words: 1.Pivot Words: words always used in the same place within children’s speech. 2.Open Words: Words used in different places within the speech of children. Another, more important way in which telegraphic speech is based on rules was identified by Roger Brown. It was the

Subsequent Developments

language develops a lot between 2 ½ years and 5 years of age. It is also a rule based learning and includes the learning of grammatical morphemes in a given order. MORPHEMES??– the length of utterance of words is measured in terms of morphemes which are meaningful units produced.


MORPHEMES??– these includes prepositions, prefixes and suffixes Over regularization is another concept which shows the tendency to use the rule in situation in which it does not apply.

Nativist theories of child language
Theorists who have put forward the Nativist theory of child language argue that infants are born with knowledge of the structure of human languages. LANGUALE ACQUISITION DEVICE Chomsky argued that humans possess a language acquisition device which consists of innate knowledge of grammatical structure.  There are two kinds of structures in a sentence: 1.Surface structure- it is based on the


also introduced the notion of transformational grammar; this allows us to transform the meaning, or deep structure, of a sentence into the actual words of the sentence. It plays an important part in language acquisition device. He also assumed that all humans have same language acquisition device.

CRITICAL - PERIOD HYPOTHESIS The notion that language learning is easier before puberty than it is afterwards, as it is a fact that a young child learns a language faster than an adult.  The evidence supporting this theory comes from the study of Aphasia, which involves some loss of language through brain injury. Children who become aphasic at anytime before puberty generally recover most or all of the lost language.  It is also assumes that the brain is very flexible, as before puberty if any injury occurs in the left hemisphere, it gets

Skinner’s environmental approach to Language

argued that language learning depends on imitation and reinforcement. There is much less imitation in children’s language than predicted by skinner, reinforcement principles cannot explain the learning of grammatical rules. Social context plays an important role in language development,


and Expansions; both help language development. 1.Motherese: the short simple sentences used by mothers when talking to their young children 2.Expansions: utterances of parents and other adults which consists of fuller and more accurate versions of what a child has just said.


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