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Early Semantic Development Lecture Notes

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Early Semantic Development
Objectives:
- Describe the types of words that are typical in children’s early vocabularies
- Describe how children used words differently than adults
- Describe how adult’s influence children’s early vocabularies
Relationship between words and their referents
- Meanings are shared
- Word = sign that signifies a referent
- Arbitrary signs
- Arbitrary relationships = symbolic
Mental Images
- Words thought to evoke mental images
- Reasons why visual images do not explain how words are represented in the brain
- Kids develop words through experience
Categorical Concepts:
- Develop as children learn word meanings
- Semantic features theory
How Children Learn Meanings of Words
- Semantic development occurs as general cognitive and linguistic skills develop
- Ontological categories learned→ what drives syntax
- Meanings of early words are context bound
- Child “maps” word onto meaning
Constraints Used by Children to Learn Words
1. Words refer to objects
2. Words refer to whole objects (i.e. “tail” is the entire dog to them)
3. New words refer to categories that do not have a name
4. Principle of contrast→ no two words are going to have the exact same meaning
5. Principle of mutual exclusivity→ word meanings overlap
FIrst Words:
- Age when emerge→ 10-14 months
- Difference b/w first words and protowords:
- First words→ actual word
- protowords→ words that have meaning within the family
- First words are:
- Context Bound
- Referential
- Changes over time
First Words to 50 Words:
- Rate of development→ fairly slowly at first
- characteristics
- Cultural differences
- Role of the phonological composition of words

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Beyond 50 Words
- The “word” spurt→ around 18-24 months
- Rate of acquisition→ after 50 words, they can learn 20-35 words per month
- Reason for “word” spurt
Unconventional Words
- Child A: uses “white” to describe snow, is mystified when father describes blank pages with with
same word
- Child B: uses “ball” to refer to marbles, wheels, and cement mixers
- **overextension and underextension**
- Overextension→ uses one word for many things
- underextensionuses different words and separates categories completely
- Happens between 1-2 years of age; should decrease by 2 ½
Invented Words:
- Age when used→ beginning of preschool
- Principles for use:
- Simplicity→ easier, faster to say
- Semantic transparency→ invented word is easier to say/remember
- Productivity
Comprehension:
- Comprehension or production first?
- Development
- 5 mos.
- 8 mos.
- 10 mos.
- Growth of receptive vocabularies
- Contents of receptive vocabularies
Adult Speech
- Adult labeling and gaze behavior
- Adults vary their labels
- Says “dogie” for poodle
- Says “kitty” for leopard
- Levels of categories: subordinate→ basic→ specific items
Adults teach words from different levels differently
- subordinate→ vehicle
- basic→ van
- Specific item→ dodge
Adult Input for Vocabulary Learning
- Word is said clearly and enunciated slowly
- Use exaggerated intonation
- Produce clear pauses b/w utterances

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Early Semantic Development Objectives: - Describe the types of words that are typical in children’s early vocabularies - Describe how children used words differently than adults - Describe how adult’s influence children’s early vocabularies Relationship between words and their referents - Meanings are shared - Word = sign that signifies a referent - Arbitrary signs - Arbitrary relationships = symbolic Mental Images - Words thought to evoke mental images - Reasons why visual images do not explain how words are represented in the brain - Kids develop words through experience Categorical Concepts: - Develop as children learn word meanings - Semantic features theory How Children Learn Meanings of Words - Semantic development occurs as general cognitive and linguistic skills develop - Ontological categories learned→ what drives syntax - Meanings of early words are context bound - Chil ...
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Anonymous
Very useful material for studying!

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