PSY220H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Baby Talk, 18 Months, Heredity
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Lecture 3 PSYA02 Notes
Stages in Language Development
•Prelinguistic Stage (0 – 12 months)
oCrying, cooing, babbling, phonemic expansion, phonemic constriction
oCooing at 6 weeks
Distinct from crying (e.g. doesn’t occur when infant is upset;
Baby attempts to produce phonemes
These sounds are not made later in life
oBabbling at 6-9 months
First production of phonemes (not meaningful)
Produces all possible phonemes phonemic expansion
oPhonemic Constriction at 9-12 months
Phonemes reduce to the subset in their native languages
Pruning of phonemes
•One Word Stage (12 – 18 months)
oWords serve to accompany actions/events then later acquire a
communication function (expressive or directive).
oHolophrastic speech: the use of single words to convey a much more
complex message (e.g. “milk” instead of “I would like some milk”).
o20 words are acquired per day
oFirst words are for those around them (e.g. parents, siblings, toys)
oMoving objects get named faster than still objects
o2/3 is names; about ½ of these are categories for objects, the other is
•Two Word Sentences Stage (e.g. “John milk” instead of “John wants some
oStage I Grammar (18 – 30 months)
Motherese (infant-directed speech)
oStage 2 Grammar (30 months – 4 to 5 years)
Acquisition of function words
One generalization of grammatical rules
oA lot of imitation by reduction occurs here: repeating someone (e.g.
mother) but using only the most important words in the sentence.
oThen the mother may repeat the sentence with all function words back
in place imitation by expansion
Assistance in teaching children language by speaking slower,
using a broader range of pitch and using syntactically simple
oEvery time a child learns a function, he/she is learning a grammatical
rule learn by overusing/abusing the rule.
oBy age 13, child knows about 20 000 words and by age 20, 50 000
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