Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

BBI 3209 Language Acquisition Wong Bee Eng Department of English Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "BBI 3209 Language Acquisition Wong Bee Eng Department of English Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication Universiti Putra Malaysia."— Presentation transcript:

1 BBI 3209 Language Acquisition Wong Bee Eng Department of English Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication Universiti Putra Malaysia

2 Topics 0 Characteristics of first language (L1) acquisition 0 The Behaviourist Theory and L1 acquisition 0 Universal Grammar: the logical problem of L1 acquisition 0 The Language Acquisition Device (LAD): Argument from the poverty of the stimulus 0 Stages of L1 acquisition: phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic development Wong Bee Eng FBMK 2

3 Phone: / Wong Bee Eng FBMK 3

4 First Language Acquisition 0 The process of acquiring language among children is also known as emergence of language. 0 The outcome of this process is a grammar. 0 2 reasons for saying that the development of linguistic skills involve the acquisition of a grammar. Source: O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012), pp Wong Bee Eng FBMK 4

5 First Language Acquisition 1. Adult users of language are able to produce and understand an infinite number of novel sentences – a basic requisite of normal language use - which can only happen if they have acquired a grammar as children. 2. Another indication that children acquire a grammar, i.e. rules of a grammar, comes from their speech errors. These provide clues about how the acquisition process works. Source: O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012), pp Wong Bee Eng FBMK 5

6 First Language Acquisition 0 Since adults don’t talk the way children do, the errors made by children tell us that children don’t merely imitate what they hear. 0 They create rules of their own to capture regularities that they hear in their input. Source: O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012), pp Wong Bee Eng FBMK 6

7 First Language Acquisition 0 Linguists and psychologists study, i.e. they identify and describe, the process of language acquisition by analyzing the emergence grammatical system of children. 0 They look to the study of the following to help them: phonology morphology syntax Source: O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012), pp Wong Bee Eng FBMK 7

8 First Language Acquisition Methods Most studies focus on children’s early utterances, the order in which they emerge, the kinds of errors made. 2 Complementary Approaches of data collection 0 The naturalist approach 0 The experimental approach Source: O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012), pp Wong Bee Eng FBMK8

9 First Language Acquisition 0 Naturalistic approach: usually longitudinal Observe and record children’s spontaneous utterances, e.g. a. Diary study (researcher keeps daily notes on a child’s linguistic progress) b. Regular taping sessions, often at biweekly intervals, an hour at a time, of the child interacting with his/her caregivers. Detailed transcripts are made for subsequent analysis. (see CHILDES – Child Language Data Exchange System) Source: O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012), pp Wong Bee Eng FBMK 9

10 First Language Acquisition 0 Naturalistic studies Advantage: Provides a lot of information of the emergence of grammar. Disadvantages: Certain structures and phenomena may occur rarely in children’s daily speech making it difficult to gather enough data to test hypotheses or draw firm conclusions. Speech samples from individual children capture only small portion of their utterances at any given point in development (15% or less). Wong Bee Eng FBMK 10

11 First Language Acquisition 0 Experimental Approach: usually cross-sectional Researchers make use of specially designed tasks to elicit linguistic activity relevant to the phenomenon they wish to study. The child’s production is used to formulate hypotheses about the type of grammatical system acquired at that point in time. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 11

12 First Language Acquisition 0 Types of experimental studies 0 Use tasks that test children’s comprehension (e.g. judge truth statements made about particular pictures or situations), production (such tasks may be difficult for children), or imitation skills (such tasks can provide important clues about grammatical development) Wong Bee Eng FBMK 12

13 First Language Acquisition 0 Experimental studies Advantage: They allow researchers to collect data of a very specific sort about particular phenomena or structures. Disadvantages: Difficult to design such experiments. Children’s performance may be affected by extraneous factors, e.g. inattention, shyness, or a failure to understand what is expected of them. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 13

14 First Language Acquisition 0 Better to use naturalistic observation together with experimental techniques. 0 Together they have advanced our knowledge of the process. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 14

15 PHONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT a.Babbling b. The developmental order Consonant inventory at age two StopsFricativesOther pbm f w tdn s kg Wong Bee Eng FBMK 15

16 Consonant inventory at age four Stops Fricatives AffricatesOther p bm fv ʧʤ w j tdn sz l r kgŋ ʃ Wong Bee Eng FBMK 16

17 c. Early phonetic processes 1.Syllable simplification – systematic deletion of certain sounds in order to simplify syllable structure. e.g. delete [s] stop  [tɒp] 2. Syllable deletion – deletion of unstressed syllables. e.g. spa ghe tti  [g ǝ ] Wong Bee Eng FBMK 17

18 3.Substitution processes – systematic replacement of one sound by an alternative that the child finds easier to articulate stopping e.g. sing  [t I ŋ] change: s  t fronting e.g. ship  [s I p] change: ʃ  s gliding e.g. lion  [ja I n] change: l  j denasalization e.g. room  [wu:b] change: m  b Wong Bee Eng FBMK 18

19 4. Assimilation The modification of one or more features of a segment under the influence of neighbouring sounds - Initial consonants voiced in anticipation of the following vowel. e.g. tell  [del] - To maintain the same place of articulation for all of the consonants or vowels in a word. e.g. doggy  [gɒgi:] or [dɒdi:] Wong Bee Eng FBMK 19

20 Vocabulary Development 0 By 18 months, the child has a vocabulary of 50 words or more. 0 Common words refer to 0 Entities – people, food/drinks, animals, clothes, toys, vehicles, other (e.g. bottle, key, book) 0 Properties – e.g. hot, dirty, here, there 0 Actions – e.g. up, sit, see, eat, go, down 0 Personal-social – e.g. bye, no, yes, please, thank-you Wong Bee Eng FBMK 20

21 0 Noun-like words – largest class, followed by verb-like words, and adjective-like words. 0 Over the next few years – children learn between words a day. 0 By age 6, they have 13,000-14,000 words. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 21

22 3 Strategies for acquiring word meaning The Whole Object Assumption A new word refers to a whole object The Type Assumption A new word refers to a type of thing, not just to a particular thing. The Basic Level Assumption A new word refers to objects that are alike in basic ways (appearance, behaviour, etc.) Wong Bee Eng FBMK 22

23 Contextual clues Ability of the child to make use of contextual clues to draw inferences about the category and meaning of new words. e.g. Children can use the presence or absence of determiners to differentiate between names and common nouns. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 23

24 Meaning Errors Overextensions The meaning of the child’s word is more general or inclusive than that of the corresponding adult form. e.g. the word dog is frequently overextended to include horses, cows, etc. Underextensions The use of lexical items in an overly restrictive fashion. e.g. the word kitty might be used to refer to the family pet, but not to other cats. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 24

25 Dimensional terms Terms describing size and dimensions are acquired in a relatively fixed order. 1 st group of adjectives – big, small (can be used for talking about any aspect of size – height, area, volume, etc.) 2 nd group - tall, long, short, high, low (can only be used for a single dimension – height-length) Other modifiers – thick-thin, wide-narrow, deep-shallow – more restricted in use – describe secondary or less extended dimension of an object. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 25

26 MORPHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT Overgeneralizations or Overregularizations e.g. *mans *runned *felled Wong Bee Eng FBMK 26

27 DEVELOPMENTAL SEQUENCE A.Typical developmental sequence for non-lexical morphemes 1.-ing 2.plural –s 3.possessive – ’s 4.the, a 5.past tense –ed 6.third person singular –s 7.auxiliary be Wong Bee Eng FBMK 27

28 B. Some Determining factors 1. Frequent occurrence in utterance-final position (children tend to notice elements that occur at the end of an utterance) 2. Syllabicity (they tend to notice morphemes e.g. –ing, which are syllables on their own, than those that are single consonants, e.g. –s) 3. Absence of homophony (this tends to hasten acquisition of a word) 4. Few or no exceptions in the way it is used (all singular Ns form possessive with –s but not all verbs form past tense with –ed; exceptions can hinder acquisition process) Wong Bee Eng FBMK 28

29 B. Some Determining factors 5. Allomorphic invariance (the suffix –ing has the same form for all verbs, while the –ed has 3 main allomorphs; the latter can slow down morphological development) 6. Clearly discernible semantic function (the plural –s expresses easily identifiable meaning, but 3 rd person singular –s makes no obvious contribution to meaning of a sentence; thus the latter is acquired more slowly) Wong Bee Eng FBMK29

30 Word formation processes Derivation and compounding emerge early in the acquisition of English. First derivational suffixes are the most common ones in adult language. Children’s creativity with compounds shows a preference for building words from other words. Ending Meaning Word /-ness/ statesadness /-ing/ activityrunning /-er/ doer /-ie/ diminutive teacher doggie Child’s word Intended meaning car-smoke N-Nexhaust firetruck-man N-Nfire fighter cup-egg N-Nboiled egg Wong Bee Eng FBMK 30

31 The 2 processes that apply most freely in English, i.e. the formation of a noun by the addition of the agentive affix –er to a verb (a derivational process) and compounding, are the first to emerge. e.g. A person who swims is a ___________. A house for a dog is a ___________. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 31

32 SYNTACTIC DEVELOPMENT I. The one-word stage 0 A child begins to produce one-word utterances (holophrases = whole sentences) between the ages of 12 months and 18 months. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 32

33 0 A basic property of these one-word utterances is that they can be used to express the type of meaning that would be associated with an entire sentence in adult speech. E.g. dada can mean I see daddy. 0 Children seem to choose the most informative word that applies to the situation at hand. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 33

34 Semantic relations in children’s one-word utterances Semantic relation UtteranceSituation Agent of an actiondadaas father enters the room Action or statedownas child sits down Themedooras father closes the door Locationhereas child points Recipientmamaas child gives mother something Recurrenceagainas child watches lighting of a match Wong Bee Eng FBMK 34

35 II. The two-word stage a.Within a few months of their first one-word utterances, children begin to produce two-word mini- sentences. b. The vast majority of two-word utterances employ an appropriate word order, suggesting a very early sensitivity to this feature of sentence structure. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 35

36 Some patterns in children’s two-word speech Utterance Intended meaningSemantic relation Baby chair The baby is sitting agent-location on the chair. Doggie bark The dog is barking. agent-action Hit doggie I hit the doggie. action-theme Sam waterSam is drinking water.agent-theme Daddy hat Daddy’s hat. possessor-possessed Wong Bee Eng FBMK 36

37 III.The telegraphic stage Early sentences are mainly words from the major grammatical categories of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. The missing elements are determiners, prepositions, auxiliary verbs, and the bound morphemes that go on the ends of nouns and verbs. These are the grammatical morphemes. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 37

38 0 It is possible that these grammatical morphemes are omitted because they are not essential to meaning. 0 Another reason is children have cognitive limitations on the length of utterance they can produce, independent of their grammatical knowledge. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 38

39 0 Given such limitations, children may sensibly leave out the least-important parts. 0 Such words may not be stressed in adults’ utterances and therefore children may be leaving out unstressed elements. 0 Other researchers also suggest that children’s underlying knowledge does not include grammatical categories that govern the use of the omitted forms. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 39

40 IV. Later development The development of different sentence forms 1. Expressing negation 2. Asking questions Yes/No questions – can be answered with either yes or no. Wh-questions – begin with wh-words such as who, where, what, why, when, how. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 40

41 Development of different sentence forms Expressing negation – children’s negative sentence form, in order of development Stages i. Sentences with external negative marker e.g. No … wipe finger No the sun shining ii.Constructions with internal negative marker but no auxiliaries e.g.I can’t see you I don’t like you I no want book iii. Constructions with auxiliaries e.g.I didn’t did it Tom won’t let go No, it isn’t Wong Bee Eng FBMK 41

42 Children’s question forms, in order of development Yes/No questions and Wh-questions 1. Constructions with external question marker Yes/No questions Wh- questions I ride train?Who that? Sit chair?What daddy doing? Mommy milk?Where milk go? Wong Bee Eng FBMK 42

43 Children’s question forms, in order of development (cont.) Yes/No questions Wh-questions 2. Constructions with auxiliaries but no subject-auxiliary inversion in Wh-questions Yes/No questions Wh- questions Does the kitty stand up? What you did say? Will you help me? Why kitty can’t run? Wong Bee Eng FBMK 43

44 Children’s question forms, in order of development (cont.) Yes/No questions Wh-questions 3.Subject-auxiliary inversion Yes/No questions Wh- questions - What you doed? - What does coffee taste like? Wong Bee Eng FBMK 44

45 The Development of Complex Sentences After the development of grammatical morphemes and different sentence forms is well under way, the next grammatical development is the appearance of sentences that contain more than one clause. There are many different types of complex sentences, and some appear in children’s spontaneous speech much earlier than others do. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 45

46 Children’s complex sentences, in order of development 1. Object complementation Watch me draw circles. I see you sit down. 2. Wh-embedded clauses Can I do it when we get home? I show you how to do it. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 46

47 Children’s complex sentences, in order of development (cont.) 3. Coordinating conjunctions He was stuck, and I got him out. When I was a little girl I could go “geek-geek” like that, but now I can go “this is a chair.” 4. Subordinating conjunctions Here’s a set. It must be mine if it’s a little one. I want this doll because she’s big. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 47

48 Individual Differences in Grammatical Development Children differ in both the rate and course of grammatical development. Differences in rate are the most obvious. Some children produce multiword utterances at age 18 months, whereas others do not start combining words until they are 2 years old. Differences in the kinds of multiword utterances children produce – some children rote-learn these as wholes; other children combine separate words from the start. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 48

49 Some children pay more attention to syllables and phonemes; others pay more attention to the overall prosodic “tune” (Peters, 1997). 0 The tune approach or holistic approach or top-down approach, results in many unanalysed chunks. e.g. Idontwanna (for I don’t wanna) 0 The other approach is the analytical or bottom-up approach. In this approach, children break down speech into smaller units and then combine them. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 49

50 0 Most children use both top-down and bottom-up strategies, and most children include both unanalyzed chunks and smaller units in their early sentences. 0 However, children vary in how much they rely on one strategy versus the other, and the route to syntax some children take seems to be extremely holistic or extremely analytic (Hoff, 2001: 223). Wong Bee Eng FBMK 50

51 What makes language possible? 0 The role of adult speech - caregiver speech 0 The role of feedback – recasts 0 The role of cognitive development 0 The role of inborn knowledge Wong Bee Eng FBMK 51

52 Is there a critical period? 0 Normal linguistic development is possible only if children are exposed to language during a particular time frame or critical period. 0 Evidence for the existence of such a period – from studies of individuals who do not experience language during the early part of their lives, e.g. Genie. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 52

53 References 0 O’Grady, W. & Cho, S. W. (2012). First Language Acquisition (pp ). In O’ Grady, W. & Archibald, J. Contemporary Linguistic Analysis: An Introduction (Seventh Edition). Toronto: Pearson Canada. 0 Hoff, E. (2009). Language Development (Fourth Edition). Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Wong Bee Eng FBMK 53

Download ppt "BBI 3209 Language Acquisition Wong Bee Eng Department of English Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication Universiti Putra Malaysia."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google