Linguistics Chapter 6 Toddlerhood Exploring The World And Experimenting With Language Learning Outcomes Identify

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
Language Development From Theory to Practice 3rd Edition
Khara L. Pence Turnbull, Laura M. Justice
Chapter 6: Toddlerhood Exploring the World and Experimenting with Language
Learning Outcomes:
2. Describe major achievements in language form, content, and use that characterize
4. Describe how researchers and clinicians measure language development in toddlerhood.
I. What Major Language-Development Milestones Occur in Toddlerhood?
A. First Words
1. On average, babies produce their first word around age 12 months.
3. A lexical entry contains a series of symbols that compose the word, the sound of the
word, the meaning of the word, and its part of speech.
5. For a vocalization to be a true word, it must meet three important criteria.
7. Second, a true word must have recognizable pronunciation similar to the adult form
of the word.
8. The term phonetically consistent forms (PCFs) describes the idiosyncratic wordlike
9. Third, a true word is a word a child uses consistently and extends beyond the original
B. Gestures
1. Over the second year, toddlers continue to rely on others’ gestures as an important
3. Younger toddlers use more gestures than older toddlers as they attempt to fill in
4. Gesture Use
a. Children who are beginning to transition from the prelinguistic stage to the one-
word stage use referential gestures, such as holding a fist to the ear to indicate
telephone, pretending to go to sleep, or waving the hand to indicate bye-bye.
b. A referential gesture is one that indicates a precise referent and has stable
meaning across different contexts.
e. Toddlers who use more gesture + speech combinations at 18 months also
demonstrate greater sentence complexity at 42 months of age.
5. Mirror Neurons and Gestures
a. Mirror neurons, a type of visuomotor neurons (related both to vision and to
muscular movement), activate when people perform actions.
C. Theory of Mind
1. One common measure of ToM development is a false-belief task.
3. A meta-analysis demonstrated a significant relation between children’s language and
theory of mind, as measured by false-belief tasks.
5. As toddlers observe a social partner’s actions and reactions to shared objects during
periods of coordinated joint engagement and as they talk about shared objects during
II. What Major Achievements in Language Form, Content, and Use Characterize Toddlerhood?
A. Language Form
1. Achievements in Phonology
a. Toddlers begin to acquire and refine their repertoire of speech sounds, or
phonemes, and as they do so, adults witness their phonological processes or those
arguably cute rule-governed errors children make when pronouncing certain
b. Norms for Phoneme Attainment
The term customary age of production describes the age by which 50% of
children can produce a given sound in multiple positions in words in an
adultlike way.
c. Phonological Processes
Children who appear to make errors are in fact using systematic, rule-
governed processes as they speak and are not simply making haphazard sound
substitutions. The systematic, rule-governed patterns that characterize
toddlers’ speech are called phonological processes.
Phonological process categories include syllable structure changes,
that follows it, and dog becomes “gog.”
Place-of-articulation changes occur when children replace a sound produced
at one location in the mouth with a sound produced at a different location in
the mouth.
Children often replace sounds produced farther back in the mouth with sounds
and weak-syllable deletion.
Other phonological processes, including cluster reduction and gliding, are
often not suppressed until later, although few processes persist past 5 years of
d. Phonological Perception
neighbors (new words that are phonologically similar to known words).
Research indicates that toddlers become increasingly adept at recognizing
words after hearing only parts of the words, or what is called partial phonetic
Researchers have further found that they can use spoken word recognition
2. Achievements in Morphology
a. The 50-word mark usually co-occurs with the appearance of children’s first
grammatical morphemes.
b. Grammatical Morphemes
A morpheme is a meaningful linguistic unit that cannot be divided into smaller
meaningful parts.
Grammatical morphemes are inflections we add to words to indicate aspects
of grammar, such as the plural s, the possessive ‘s, the past tense ed, and the
present progressive ing.
Grammatical morphemes begin to appear in children’s speech between ages
18 and 24 months at about the time when they have learned their first 50
These grammatical morphemes develop in roughly the same order for
English-speaking children; children do not generally master all of these
3. Achievements in Syntax
a. Toddlers begin to combine words to create multiword utterances.
b. The two-word stage marks the true beginning of syntax.
c. As children’s language develops, their MLU increases systematically.
d. Researchers and clinicians use MLU regularly to evaluate children’s language
skills against the expectations, or norms, for children of the same age.
e. Sentence Forms
B. Language Content
1. Acquisition of New Words: The Quinean Conundrum
a. For a toddler to learn a new word or create a new lexical entry he or she must
minimally do the following: segment the word from continuous speech; find
2. Lexical Principles Framework for Acquiring New Words
a. Some language-learning theories presuppose that children arrive at the task of
word learning with predispositions or biases that help them eliminate some of the
nearly infinite number of referents a novel word could describe.
b. Researchers have organized a set of word-learning biases proposed by other
3. Social-Pragmatic Framework for Acquiring New Words
4. Fast Mapping
a. Toddlers’ ability to pick up words after only a few incidental exposures, or even a
5. Thematic Roles Toddler Acquire
a. A thematic role is the part a word plays in an event, including agent, theme, and
b. An agent is the entity that performs the action.
6. Receptive and Expressive Lexicons
a. Although children learn about seven to nine new words per day between ages 18
and 24 months, they do not always use these words the way adults do.
b. Rather, they often overextend underextend, and overlap words.
c. Overextension
Overextension, or overgeneralization, is the process by which children use
words in an overly general manner.
Toddlers make categorical overextensions when they extend a word they
know to other words in the same category.
d. Underextension
When toddlers learn new words, they use these words cautiously and
e. Overlap
When toddlers overextend a word in certain circumstances and underextend
the same word in other circumstances, this process is called overlap.
f. Reasons for Word-Use Errors
First, children may make category membership errors.
C. Language Use
1. Discourse Functions
a. Children can use instrumental functions, including requests, to satisfy their needs.
2. Conversational Skills
a. One area in which toddlers do not display much skill is conversation.
b. Toddlers may demonstrate some skill in starting a conversation, but they cannot
III. What Factors Contribute to Toddlers’ Individual Achievements in Language?
A. Intraindividual Differences
1. Children individually experience a series of spurts and plateaus in their language
B. Interindividual Differences
1. Effects of Gender
a. Boys both comprehend and produce fewer words than girls.
b. Parents of 3-year-old boys tend to initiate more conversation in play settings,
2. Effects of Birth Order
a. For toddlers between the ages of 18 and 29 months, firstborn children exhibit
more advanced lexical and grammatical development than their later-born
3. Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Parental Education
a. Typically developing African American toddlers from low SES backgrounds
perform more poorly on standardized measures of receptive and expressive
language than do their counterparts from middle SES backgrounds.
b. Toddlers from lower SES backgrounds have shorter MLUs and use fewer words
than toddlers from higher SES backgrounds.
IV. How Do Researchers and Clinicians Measure Language Development in Toddlerhood?
A. Researchers
1. Production Tasks
a. Naturalistic Observation
Naturalistic observations of children’s spontaneous productions are of great
value in toddlerhood as well, when researchers can analyze children’s
b. Elicited Imitation Tasks
In elicited imitation tasks, the experimenter produces a target phrase and then
requests that the child repeat it exactly as he or she heard it.
c. Elicited Production Tasks
Researchers elicit sentence structures in the context of a game, during which
the child must ask questions or make statements in response to an
experimenter’s prompt.
2. Comprehension Tasks
a. The Picture Selection Task
3. Judgment Tasks
a. In judgment tasks, researchers ask children to decide whether certain language
constructions are appropriate as a way to assess their level of grammatical
b. Truth Value Judgment Tasks
In truth value judgment tasks, children must judge certain language
constructions to be correct or incorrect.
B. Clinicians
1. Screening
a. Clinicians may screen a child’s language skills to determine whether the child is
experiencing difficulty with particular aspects of language and whether the child
2. Comprehensive Evaluation
a. Clinicians may use a comprehensive language evaluation to determine whether a
child has a language disorder and, if so, to learn more about the nature of the
3. Progress Monitoring
a. Progress monitoring tools measure and monitor a child’s progress in a certain area
Beyond the Book:
1. Record and transcribe a short (2 min) language sample from a toddler between 1 and 3
2. Observe a toddler communicating with another individual. What phonetically consistent
forms (PCFs) do you hear? What phonological processes does the toddler use?
3. Watch a group of toddlers together at a party, play group, or the like. Describe some of
the differences you see in their language skills and communication abilities. Doe the boys
and girls seem to differ with regard to these skills and abilities? How so?
4. Observe a toddler communicating with a parent or another individual and note which
discourse functions the toddler uses. Does the toddler incorporate gestures to express any
of these functions? If so, which ones?
5. Talk with a parent who has used “baby signs” with his or her toddler. Ask the parent to
Discussion Points:
What types of gestures would you expect to see toddlers who are more advanced in their
language-development use? What about toddlers who are less advanced in their language
What are some ways in which a parent can determine whether his or her toddler
overgeneralizes new words?
Talking about an activity or object of interest to a toddler is one way adults might
promote conversation. Can you think of other strategies adults might use to sustain
conversation with a toddler?

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