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The development of speech comprehension. Fetuses & speech input Research experiments The mother’s speech sounds were found to be able to reach the ear.

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Presentation on theme: "The development of speech comprehension. Fetuses & speech input Research experiments The mother’s speech sounds were found to be able to reach the ear."— Presentation transcript:

1 The development of speech comprehension

2 Fetuses & speech input Research experiments The mother’s speech sounds were found to be able to reach the ear of the fetus above the background sounds. But whether the ear of the fetus is developed enough to send such significant sounds to the brain is not proved yet.

3 Speech comprehension without speech production: The case of mute-hearing children While the ability to utter speech in appropriate situations is a good indicator of language knowledge, the absence of the ability to produce speech may not indicate a lack of language knowledge. Christopher Nolan Anne McDonald Rie

4 Speech comprehension without speech production Persons who are mute but hearing can develop the ability to comprehend speech without their being able to produce speech, so long as their basic intelligence is intact. Mute people can develop a grammar, a mental grammar based on speech comprehension; that enabled them to understand the speech to which they were exposed.

5 Speech comprehension with speech production In normal children speech comprehension develops in advance of speech production. If children did not first learn to understand the meaning of words and sentences, they wouldn’t be able to use words or sentences in a meaningful way. speech understanding always precedes production, which is the pattern that continues throughout the acquisition process. The two systems of comprehension and production do not develop separately in the normal child.

6 Speech comprehension with speech production Pre-speech normal infants: Most of the research on comprehension indicated that it was 8 to 10 months of age when kids started to attach language labels to particular objects. Comprehension and production processes develop in a parallel mode with production always trying to keep up with comprehension.

7 The relationship of speech production, speech comprehension, & thought I. speech comprehension necessarily precedes speech production II. Thought as the basis of speech comprehension

8 Speech production lags behind speech comprehension The Huttenlocher study The Sachs and Truswell study A reading before speaking study

9 The relationship of speech production, speech comprehension, & thought Speech comprehension necessarily precedes speech production Thought as the basis of speech comprehension

10 Child-Directed Speech What is child-directed speech? It is the sort of language that children receive when they are young. It is also referred to as ‘Motherese’, ‘Parentese’, ‘Child-Directed-Speech’ (CDS), ‘Care Giver Speech’, and ‘Adult-to- Child Language’.

11 Child-Directed Speech Characteristics of child-directed speech: 1. Immediacy & concreteness 2. Grammaticality of input 3. Short sentences & simple structures 4. Vocabulary: simple & short 5. Pauses at the end of utterances 6. Slower rate 7. Repetitiousness 8. Exaggerated intonation, pitch, & stress 9. Older children, too, adapt their speech WHY?

12 Functions of child-directed speech Getting the addressee's attention Keeping and holding the addressee's attention

13 What role does CDS play in acquisition? CDS offers potential lessons in how to take turns and in what to say when. It also offers potential mapping lessons/ information on how to talk about different kinds of situations, which words to use, and for what.

14 Baby Talk Baby Talk is a form of parentese or motherese but with its own characteristics [lexical & syntactic] Baby Talk involves the use of vocabulary and syntax that is overly simplified and reduced Baby Talk is something that adults learn from other adults and involves standardized vocabulary. It is standard in the sense that such vocabulary is culturally transmitted over generations

15 Baby Talk English examples [C + V + (c)] × N bow-wow  barking dog pee-pee  urine choo-choo  train Japanese examples: shee-shee  urine wan-wan  barking dog bu-bu  car engine

16 Baby Talk Syntax plays a less prominent role in Baby Talk than does vocabulary. Substituting proper names for personal pronouns feature of baby talk. Parents & use occasional use of standard syntax in Baby Talk [children’s telegraphic stage] E.g. Mommy give Tony banana NOT, I will give you a banana

17 The effect of Parentese & Baby Talk in language learning A positive but small effect and for very young children


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