LS18 Later Language Development
Phonetics: perception of speech sounds solidiﬁed by 1
Phonology: relationship between speech sounds to indicate meaning is solidiﬁed by 1.5
Does anything happen beyond this? Some contrasts between speech sounds continue to be reﬁned for clearer categorization.
Phonological Memory and Awareness
i. Onset (the ﬁrst sound of the word) and rhyming awareness is solidiﬁed by 3-4 years.
ii. Syllable and phoneme counting, which is related to phoneme awareness solidiﬁes by six, at age ﬁve 20% of children can do
Onset is dependent on reading experience and natural language development.
- Increased ease with complex clusters (hard things to pronounce, especially if they contain many consonants or have multiple
Accents: mutable and can change over the course of development. Peers contribute to this in early school years, and we adopt
the speech sounds of our peers.
- Dialects: semantically related rather than just changing the sounds of speech
- accent and dialects can function as register, the social pressure to ﬁt in, and to assert one’s identity
Lexicon in Later Development: there is a four-fold increase in the amount of words an individual knows between grades one and
- continues to develop past early schooling
- can be measured by multiple choice (GRE, LSAT, MCAT)
new words are complex and add to words which you already have (you probably have the the word believe before the word
- there is more specialized words in later lexical development, like the word happy, develops into ecstatic or joyous
Inﬂectional Rules: additions to vocabulary are more morphologically complex, rarer, and more specialized in meaning.
young children knew inﬂectional rules differ from derivation, for example the fact that things that eats rats are a rat-eaters rather
than rats-eater, thus the creation of new words occurs when they have substantial inﬂectional rules
- understanding derivations become better over time: starting at 5 and not being complete until adulthood
Word Formation Processes (with nonsense items): showing that individuals could build new words, not just recognize them.
Preschoolers are bad at this task, but adults and adolescents are at similar levels of competence.
For example: This is a wugg. Here is his house. What is it? An adult would say a wuggian or a wuggery, but a child will compensate
with a known skill such as compounding and say “a wugg’s house”.
Fast Mapping: the ability to map a referent on to a label, pairing an object and a word in less than ﬁve instances in normal. If you
have this by preschool age, direct reference is fast mapping when it is directly presented to you. Shortening the time you need to
learn a word to one instance.
Incidental Learning: Starting at ﬁve children begin to get better at relying on this. Incidental learning is learning an object by picking
up on situations in the environment. (Like a parent saying “where are my keys” and then ﬁnding them, the child then just learned the
word keys through incidental learning.
QUIL: Quick Incidental Learning
- a three year old would not understand incidental learning or would not be able to acquire words this way, but a six year old would
Contextual Learning: learning a word from the context of other words. (ex. “My husband is such a bibliophile, I am not happy about
all our disposable income being spent at Chapters.” The listener can then understand, through context, that the word biblophage
means someone who really likes books.)
Pragmatics: language within the contexts it is used. Turn taking in conversation is evident by age one, but relevant dialogue
increases between ages seven and ten. School age children produce sentences which make sense for communicative purposes.
Five year olds accept and produce inadequate messages due to poor comprehension modelling: a child will not realize that a
passage is incomprehensible and will not ask for clariﬁcation or more information. Children also don’t check themselves and revise
in speech. This skill increases with age, however adults still do this sometimes — like reading a textbook but not getting any
meaning from it.
Narratives → story grammar test: children were given a picture book with no words, and told to make up a story. Children under ﬁve
told stories which were fragmented, action based, and disconnected. Full episodes begin at six, and internal motives and mental
states of characters are able to be determined by age 8.
As children age, the speak less in collective monologues with one another and more frequently engage in back-and-forth
conversation. (Figure indicates the percentage of conversation-related terms used in collective monologues as children age.)
Non-Literal Language Development
Idioms: proverbs which are language or subculture speciﬁc (“it’s raining cats and dogs”)
Metaphor: relating two unrelated things (“her hair was golden”)
Irony: saying something that isn’t related or sarcastic → These are ﬁrst present in children’s speech at 2 but not adult-like usage until 14. Up until age seven we use magical or literal
interpretations rather than metaphor, they will not understand what they are saying but they will know when to say it (like swear
Schooling Effects on Language Development: develops more r