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DeCasper & Fifer Findings for

Newborns
1. Prefer the human voice over
"acoustically complex stimuli" (1176)
2. Can discriminate between speakers
3. Show a preference for their mother's voice
with limited contact (at most 12 hours)

DeCasper, Anthony J. and William P. Fifer. 26 February 1980. Of human bonding:


Newborns prefer their mothers' voices. Science 208: 1174-1176.

Characteristics
of Caretaker Speech
Prosody, etc.
Higher in pitch
More variable in pitch
More exaggerated in intonational contours
Slower
Smoother pitch contours
More rhythmic
More pauses
Content
More repetitions
More based in the here and now
2

Carroll, David W. 1994. Psychology of Language, second edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 250.

Gestures Showing
Communicative Intent
1. Pointing at things (Assertion or request)
2. Showing things to parent (NOT to give)
3. Giving you things
4. Reaching
5. Showing off (Repeating things that get
approval; dancing)

Bates, Elizabeth, et al. 1979. Cognition and communication from nine to thirteen
months: Correlational findings. In E. Bates, editor, The Convergence of Symbols:
Cognition and Communication in Infancy. New York: Academic Press.

Major Criteria for Assigning


Intentionality
1. Waiting (for adult to pay attention)
2. Persistence
3. Development of alternative plans
(flexibility)

Carroll, David W. 1994. Psychology of Language, second edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 251.
4

Gestures then Speech


"To sum up, prelinguistic children use
gestures to get the receiver's attention and
to communicate. The transition to speech
acts can then be viewed as learning how to
do with words what already has been done
without words."

Carroll, David W. 1994. Psychology of Language, second edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 253.

Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified - 1
Age Motor Development
months

Language, etc.

Can distinguish consonants

3 Supports head when


prone; no grasp

Smiles when talked to;


gurgles / coos (vowels)

4 Shakes rattle;
sounds :
supports head

Responds to human
turns head, eyes search

5 Sits with props


interspersed with

Vowel-like cooing
more consonantal sounds

Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified - 2
Age Motor Development
months
6 Sits; can bear weight;
reaches; grasps but no
thumb opposition
8 Stands holding on;
grasps with thumb

Language, etc.
Cooing becomes
(reduplicated) babbling
(babababa)

Intonation patterns distinct;


can signal opposition
emphasis and emotion;

reduplication;
communicative intentions
7

Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified - 3
Age Motor Development
months
10 Crawls; side-steps holding
on; bubble blowing;
pulls self up to stand
sounds heard
11-12

(bigodabu)

Language, etc.
Sound play: gurgling,
seems to try to imitate;
differentiates between

Variegated babbling

12 Walks with help; seats self; More reduplication


almost stopped mouthing
(mama); signs of things
some words and simple

understanding; commands:
Show me...

Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified - 4
Age Motor Development
months

Language, etc.

18 Grasp fully developed;


30-50 words; ONE-word phase;
walks; sits on chair so-so; several syllable babbling;
crawls down stairs
intricate intonation pattern;
backward; difficulty
NOT frustrated when not
building 3 cube towers
understood; understanding
progressing rapidly
24 Runs; sudden turns
not good; stand and
sits easily; walks up
and down stairs
9

Vocabulary 50+ words;


TWO-word phase; phrases
own creation; increase in
communicative behavior

Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified - 5
Age Motor Development
months

Language, etc.

30 Jumps; stands on one foot; Fastest increase in vocabulary;


good hand and finger
frustrated if not understood;
coordination; can build 6
two (even three or five) word
cube tower; tiptoes a few
utterances; intelligibility not
steps
very good; seems to
understand everything
directed to them
36 Tiptoes 3 yards; runs
smoothly; makes turns
well; jumps 12 inches;
can ride tricycle
10

Vocabulary: 100 or so words;


80% intelligible even to
strangers; grammar roughly
like adults, though still makes
mistakes

Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified - 6
Age Motor Development
months

Language, etc.

48 Jumps over rope; hops on


Language well established;
one foot; catches ball in deviations from adult norm
arms; walks line tend to be more in style
than in grammar

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Milestones in Motor and Language


DevelopmentSimplified
Milestones Chart based on:
Nick Cipollone, Steven Hartman Keiser & Shravan Vasishth,
editors. 1998. Language Files, seventh edition. Columbus, Ohio:
Ohio State University Press, pp. 287-289.
Cipollone et al.'s version was based on Eric H. Lenneberg.
1967. Biological Foundations of Language. New York: John Wiley &
Sons.
With additions from Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of
Language, third edition. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole
Publishing Company, Chapter 10: Early Language Acquisition.

12

Comparison of English and


Spanish Bilabial Stops
1
Voicing

Prevoiced

VOT*

negative
[b]

2
Voiced

3
Voiceless

zero

short

4
Voiceless
longer

[p]

Spanish
besos
[besos]
'kisses'

pesos
[pesos]
'pesos' (money)

English
bases
[besz]

paces
[pesz]

* VOT times are impressionistic; not given as precise numbers


13

Adapted from Ladefoged, Peter. 2001. Vowels and Consonants: An Introduction to


the Sounds of Languages. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, pp. 119-121.

Early Language Developmental


Stages
1. Cooing (2 months): Mostly vowels
2. Babbling (6 months)
Reduplicated babbling (6-7 months):
ba ba ba ba
Variegated babbling (11-12 months):
bi go da bu
3. First true words (12+ months)

14

Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 259.

Phonological Processes
Used by Children

15

Reduction

tore/store
baw/bottle

Coalescence

paf/pacifier

Assimilation

nance/dance
fweet/sweet

Reduplication

dada/daddy

Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 261.

Possible Explanations for


Children's Pronunciation Errors
1. Child cannot discriminate between the
sounds
2. Child cannot produce the sounds
3. Overload of information processing
capacity

16

Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific


Grove, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, pp. 261-262.

First Words

17

Nominals:

ball, car

Proper nouns:

Mommy

Action words:

up, go

Modifiers:

dirty, pretty

Personal/social:

please, want

Function:

what, for

From K. Nelson. 1973. Sturcutre and strategy in learning to talk. Monographs of the
Society for Research in Child Development, 38 (1-2 Serial No. 149). Cited in Carroll,
David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific Grove, California:
Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 263.

Adult Input In Vocabulary


Acquisition
1. The Original Word Game
2. Basic level vocabulary
3. Ostensive definitions for whole
object

18

Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, pp. 264-265.

Cognitive Constraints in
Vocabulary Acquisition
1. Whole Object Bias
2. Taxonomic Bias
3. Mutual Exclusivity Bias
a. Each object has only one name
b. Each name refers to only one object

Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, p. 266.
19

Brown's Early Language


Development Stages
Stage
MLU

20

1.75

II

2.25

III

2.75

IV

3.5

4.0

From Roger Brown. 1973. A First Language: The Early Stages. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press. Cited in Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of
Language, third edition. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing
Company, p. 270.

First Language Acquisition


Strategies
Referential Strategy
Naming objects
Vocabulary-building oriented: mostly nouns
Language is individual words (bottom-up)
Part to whole

Expressive Strategy
Social interaction
More diverse vocabulary
Language is whole sentences (top-down)
Whole to part
More likely to use 'dummy terms'
21

Carroll, David W. 1999. Psychology of Language, third edition. Pacific Grove,


California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, pp. 274-276.