Presentation on theme: "Child-Directed Speech. Learning Language from Adult Speech The speech young children hear is the only source of information they have about the language."— Presentation transcript:
Learning Language from Adult Speech The speech young children hear is the only source of information they have about the language they are learning. Much of the spontaneous language in conversation does not consist of grammatically correct, full sentences.
Learning Language from Adult Speech Despite hearing improper grammar, children learn the consistencies in language They are able to learn word meaning, and grammar (how sentences are correctly formed) e.g., -ed for past tense, -s for plurals
How do children do this? Adults’ speech to language learning children differs from their speech to older children and adults.
Snow, 1972 Mothers speech to 2 year-olds and to 10- year-olds. Mothers told a story and explained a task Mothers’ language was transcribed and scored for MLU and complexity
Young children hear simplified speech Organized and redundant Like ideal “language lessons”
Examples Video of adult reading book with a 2-year-old Video of adult reading book with a 2-year-old Video of adult reading book with an 8-year-old Video of adult reading book with an 8-year-old
In Speech to Younger Children: Shorter, simpler sentences: less subordinate clauses e.g.“Joe delivers our paper” instead of “Joe, who lives down the road, delivers our paper” less compound words Fewer words before the verb in the sentence; subject- verb-object easier to pick out e.g. “Joe threw the paper” instead of “Joe, who delivers the paper, threw it on the doorstep” Fewer pronouns (e.g. he, I, they, it, there, here, etc.) More repetition
Adults’ Modifications of Speech for Young Children Keep children interested Allow children to comprehend what is said Aid children in learning language
Today’s Exercise Part I: You have transcripts of speech to a 2-year-old and to a 10-year-old. 1. Calculate the MLU scores 2. Add the number of Pronouns 3. On reverse of sheet, write your hypothesis: Do you expect to find a sig. difference in these? -Why or why not?
To help: Morphemes are the smallest elements of meaning Words count as one, but also suffixes, prefixes, and contractions add morphemes Example: “The horses ran quickly, and didn’t slow until they stopped” Contains 14 morphemes Pronouns are words that replace nouns (which refer to a person, place, or thing), such as “He”, “They”, “You”, “Here”, “There” Example: “They ran quickly over there to you” Contains 3 pronouns
Today’s Exercise: Part II: Open the SPSS data file from www.stfx.ca/people/jlayes Run two dependent t-tests 1) Compare adult’s MLU scores when talking to 2- vs. 10-yr-olds 2) Compare adult’s pronoun use when talking to 2- vs. 10-yr-olds Complete the APA Results section, reporting your findings *Submit your Exercise Sheet before leaving*
Preparing for the Lab Exam: Next week during your regular lab session 50 multiple choice (bring a pencil and eraser) Worth 5% Only covers material from lab Review ppts and exercise sheets You can pick up this week’s exercise outside my office (Annex 114F) after 1pm on Friday, or anytime the following week. Note: Annex is closed after 9 Mon-Wed, after 7 Thur-Fri, and all weekend Your lab marks so far will be posted on my site according to Student ID number (sometime this week)