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306A: Special edition First-language acquisition Guest lecturer
1st language acquisition
Do we need to know this?
What I mean is, ah, will it be on the exam?
Stages Pre-natal Intonation acquisition and personal discrimination begins mo reflexive, vegetative mo responsive cooing, laughing mo babbling mo reduplicative babbling mo non-reduplicative babbling mo all hell breaks loose
Pre-natal to 7 mo (roughly) Pre-natal personal and native language discrimination mo migration from expressive (indexical) noises to communicative noises to vocal play mo a wide range of noises narrows down toward community speech sounds (phones).
6 to 12 mo (roughly) Reduplicative babbling mama, gaga, baba phonological practice, rather than communication increased control over articulators
9 to 18 mo (roughly) Non-reduplicative babbling “expressive jargon” intonation and stress patterns of language “sounds like Language X” (X = Swedish, Hindi, Basque, …), but just more sophisticated practicing overlaps with word development and the beginnings of clear communicative intent
14mo + Proto-words and words commingle “Noun”-heavy The dedication and joy of acquisition
Proto-words (Galen, 15 mo) meaningsoundusage blow[fff] Said when food needed cooling whoosh[wus] Said of toilets and sneezes oh?[?o] Parent-humouring noise tasty![n√mn√m] Said in appreciation of food yay![doi˘j] Said in joyous appreciation of favoured objects and totems
Proto-words (Oriana, 16 mo) meaningsoundusage negatives[nej] [now] [nowej] Said when declining affirmative[mmm] Said when accepting Getyourassingear[?√?√?√] Said to urge on parents “smack”[nnntj√] air kiss
Is that right? √wu √m wAp√ wAp√ mm hmm
Pardon me? dudawa dej √t√ dudijdij
Words (Galen, 15 mo) wordsoundaccompany/sub cat[tQt][mrAuw] cow[kAw][mu˘w] lamb[lQm][bA?A?A?] monkey[m√ntij][E?E?E?] duck[dQt] A trilled, lateral-tongue-against-cheek flapping noise that actually sounded a bit like a duck whale[wej√] Non-totemic lion[lAjn]
Words (Galen, mo) chair, man, truck, hat, horn, vegetables, night-time, baby, medicine,shampoo, belt, watch, mail, sleep, button, train, pizza, fan, light, bath, diaper, hospital, paper, submarine, … Mostly “nouns”, some “verbs”, two “prepositions”, a few “adjectives”, some “greetings”.
Words (Oriana, 16 mo) wardsoundcontexts ow[Aw] when hurt, tickled, inconvenienced in any way more[mow√] said mostly of food and drink, but also of activities (being carried), sometimes before she has had any hiya[hAj√] said in greeting
(27 mo) PAPAPAPAPAPA! WHAT did you BRING!? You brought GROCERIES! You brought CANS OF SOUP! (picking them out of the bag and running off with them; he has no particular fondness for soup; it was just something to shout about). (Returning) And you brought GARBAGE BAGS! GREEN ONES! These are BIG GREEN GARBAGE BAGS! And LIGHTBULBS!
Suprasegmental phonology (Galen) He’s b-a-a-A-A-A-a-a-d, papa. That beetle’s b- a-a-A-A-A-a-a-a-d! (23 mo) I want to go outs-i-i-i-i-I-I-I-I-i-i-i-i-de! ( mo) I want Strawbe-e-e-e-E-E-E-E-e-e-e-e-ries! (24 mo) No-o-o-O-O-O-o-o-o! (a lot, c mo) DeedeedeedeedeedeedeedeedeedeetABLE! (22 mo) L-l-l-l-et’s go outside! (24 mo)
General vocal behaviours (Galen) noises, hoots, and squeals wide range of voices (slow, fast, creaky, redrum, Louis-Armstrongish plaint) demented chanting (deedeedeedee … deedeedeetABLE) special pronuciations (Bhhhr-e-e-a-a-duh, t.a.b.le.s.a.n.d.ch.ai.r.s) (walks: groucho, flying nun, stiff-legged side- step, and wiggle-butt)
Re-babbling (Galen, mo) baby-bAby, baby-bAby, baby-bAby, baby-bAby... (coming from the chorus of a song his mother also reduplicated endlessly) woodsy, woodsy, woodsy, woodsy,... (repeating the name of a toy squirrel) dzuaaha, dzuaaha, dzuaaha, dzuaaha,... budgia, budgia, budgia, budgia … (I think they just sounded good) dibbadibbadibba —What’s Galen saying? (19 mo)
Syntax (Galen) Hellooo Papa! Hellooo cat! Hellooo pitzy truck! (c17 mo; said to everybody and everything, with devout conviction that an answer would come back) More X! (More books! More banana! More sticks!...; c17 mo) Want some juice now, for Galen. (19 mo) Go! Go! Go! (c18 mo; said while running full tilt in no specific direction) Let’s go! (c18 mo; said just before running full titlt in no specific direction) Run! Run! Run! (c18 mo; see “Go! Go! Go!”) I’ll take it! (c19 mo, of anything which took his fancy) Must take it! (c20 mo; this one often had a noun in place of the pronoun, as in “Must take tractor!”) Go this way! (Let’s go this way!; mo; said, usually in the car but sometimes when being carried, while pointing in any direction you’re not going) Maybe X! (Maybe sit down! Maybe read a book! Maybe sit down right here!; 19 mo)
Galen’s First passive constituent-question G:What are they doing there? (He had seen some potato chips in a store) IR:Waiting to be bought and eaten, I guess. G:What are they going to be eaten for... with... what are they going to be eaten for... by... Who are they going to be eaten by? (27 mo)
I’m a bit sore today. I don’t want you to be sore. I want you to be clean. I want you to be clean in your diaphragm.
You’ve got a freckle. What’s a freckle called? It’s called a “freckle”. No. What are freckles called?
Maybe means “no”! I know it means “yes or no” but it really means “no”. I know what it really means, but … Just forget about it! It means no!
[To a stuffed pig:] You miss your parents? That’s OK. I have a memory of them. They were pink. Just a minute, I have a memory of them. [Goes off and returns with a long pink snake.] Here it is. It’s a memory of your mom and dad.
This is an other-nose, and this is an other-nose. (pointing, 28 mo)
Peats [ s ]
Wugs [ z ]
Bleeges [ ´z ]
Morphology (Galen) Those are ambulances, Papa: ambulancES! (21 mo) I’m digestING my penne, mommy. DigestING. (28 mo) WolFS, papa, wolFS. Not wolVES, wolFS (28 mo) I’m up-pleased (c mo) I need a ball to tennis (26 mo; upon picking up a tennis racket) What’s it for tanking? (27 mo; of a tanker truck) I get it! One octopi is an octopus, but two octopusses is an octopi!
Morphology (Oriana) …need to keep our hands undry. (38 mo) It was still unwet (38 mo) [on finding a newspaper in our driveway] Somebody slobbed us! Galen’s the most unlistener! Well, Linda and Auntie Dolly are bestest mommies in the world. But you’re the most bester mommy in the world, mommy! Same day
Lexical innovation (Oriana) That will feel me better! (also, That will feel me up) Fish! Dragon! I’ll call it a ‘funny-fish dragon’. Is that a good deal? Oriana:‘Na’ means I’m going to be your sister again. Okay? Okay, Galen? Galen:Whatever. Oriana:….. Na! …. Na! …. Na! Na, Galen!
Well, papa. I don’t want you to do no more jokeness. You did jokeness. Why did you do that? That jokeness.
Lookit! That’s a school, a school of fish. Which one’s the teacher? Mmm-hmm
… Thumbelina’s warmness saved the swallow. … … Her warmth revived the swallow. …
The good-er you are, the far-er you have to go back. I’m really yumming it. I ick it.
Philosophy of language Hello cat. I’m fine. I’m fine. You’re fine. (Oriana, 19 mo) Don’t be noisy, wind! I’m talking, wind! Don’t be noisy! That’s rude! Don’t be rude, wind! (Galen, 27 mo) Don’t blow! Wind! Don’t blow! (Oriana, 32 mo) No! Don’t say that! Don’t say it, Papa! (Oriana, 26 mo) I’m pretending you didn’t tell me that. You pretend too, Papa! (Galen, 28 mo) G:I want some salt, please, Mommie. M:Just a minute, Darlo. G:Some salt please, Mommie. M:… no response... G:Some of that white stuff there. (Galen, 27 mo)
Stages Pre-natal mo reflexive, vegetative mo responsive cooing, laughing mo babbling mo reduplicative babbling mo non-reduplicative babbling mo all hell breaks loose Phoneme acquisition Syntactic acquisition Lexical acquisition Morphological acquisition
L1 Acquisition Stages Prenatal learning - syntactic acquisition Phonology Cardinal consonants & vowels Consonant progression Substitutions Lexical acquisition Responsive cooing - “noun” gathering Morphological, syntactic acquisition Rule acquisition Kids’ philosophy of language Power and omnipresence of language