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Child-Directed Speech. Learning Language from Adult Speech  The speech young children hear is the only source of information they have about the language.

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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:

1 Child-Directed Speech

2 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.

3 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

4 How do children do this?  Adults’ speech to language learning children differs from their speech to older children and adults.

5 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

6 Young children hear simplified speech  Organized and redundant  Like ideal “language lessons”

7 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

8 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

9 Adults’ Modifications of Speech for Young Children  Keep children interested  Allow children to comprehend what is said  Aid children in learning language

10 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?

11 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

12 Today’s Exercise:  Part II: Open the SPSS data file from 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*

13 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)


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