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Cultural Variations in Caregiver Child Interactions Lecture Notes

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Cultural Variations in Caregiver-Child Interactions
***A child needs at least 36 times to understand a new word***
Objectives
- You will be able to discuss the contributions of (and interactions between) several sources of
variation
- Factors within the child
- The input the child is exposed to
- Properties of the target language
Universals in Language Development
- Age of language acquisition→ universal
- Displays of affections and guiding of learning
- Variations in behaviors (but most behaviors are the same)
Introduction
- Where do differences in language originate?
- Are they a product of varying language environments or do they come from different ways that
individual children orient themselves to the world?
- How is early lexical development related to grammar, and are there distinct modules that support
language acquisition or do general learning principles apply?
History of Variation in Child Language Research
- Little attention to individual differences
- Universalist bias of language development researchers
- Cross sectional studies looked for common structures (very few longitudinal studies)
- Exclusion of participants in research studies
- The 1970’s: interest in the semantic and pragmatic aspects of language
- In what ways does language learning vary?
- What factors contribute to differences?
- What are the implications of language variation for language acquisition theory?
Variation in Early Words
- Two types of learners (Nelson)
- Expressive: higher use of social-personal words
- Referential: dominance of general nominals
- Why are children referential or expressive?
- Children’s differing hypotheses about how language is used
- Some issues:
- Parent diaries→ from parent report, parents have a bias
- The number of words children knew
- Nelson’s classification of action words and nominals
Segmenting the Speech Stream
- Differing segmentation strategies in children’s early phonological systems
- Children with cautious vs. risk-taking approaches
- Articulatory fluency and articulatory precision are inversely related
- Just because you have better articulatory precision, doesn’t mean you have fluency
Variation in Early Sentences

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- A nominal strategy
- More content words
- A pronominal strategy
- More pronouns (usually their own pronouns due to eccentricity)
Sources of Variation
- Child factors
- Onset and rate of acquisition
- Biologically determined individual capacities
- Type of language learner→ how do they like to interact, physically/sensory/etc.
- Input factors
- Variation in input
- Maternal conversational style
- Children need exposure to rich input
- SES
- High SES talk more and less direct language than in low SES
- The biggest effect on semantic development
- Linguistic Factors
- Language type→ expect sources of variation (semantic heavy, verb heavy)
- Bilingual or monolingual acquisition
Context: The interaction of child, caregiver, and language
- The context in which language is used determines its form and function
- Joint object attention is associated with referential language learning
- Book readin
- Ritualized games and routines
- Bilingual language development: the contexts may vary within and across languages
- There can be very specific contexts where a specific language is expected
**Baby reading Video**
- Referential vocabulary
- Labeling
**Baby peek-a-boo video**
- Expressive vocabulary
- Child-directed speech
- Social routine
Implications
- Assessing the extent of individual differences helps construct a theory of how children develop
- Cross-linguistic research
- Research on phasal language
- A significant portion of adult speech may consist of phrases stored and retrieved as a
whole
- Cultural differences can influence individual differences
- Effective strategies in education, intervention, and therapy
Summary
- Variation exists at many levels of language learning: content, from, and function

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Cultural Variations in Caregiver-Child Interactions ***A child needs at least 36 times to understand a new word*** Objectives - You will be able to discuss the contributions of (and interactions between) several sources of variation - Factors within the child - The input the child is exposed to - Properties of the target language Universals in Language Development - Age of language acquisition→ universal - Displays of affections and guiding of learning - Variations in behaviors (but most behaviors are the same) Introduction - Where do differences in language originate? - Are they a product of varying language environments or do they come from different ways that individual children orient themselves to the world? - How is early lexical development related to grammar, and are there distinct modules that support language acquisition or do general learning principles apply? History of Var ...
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