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Plural Inflection Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

Acquisition of Plural Infection Language is the main vehicle by which we know about other people's thoughts. Every time we speak we are revealing something about language. Nonetheless, learning a first language is something most children do successfully, in a matter of a few years and without the need for formal lessons. By the time a child enters elementary school, he or she is a fluently speaker. Before children become effective language users they go thorough different language acquisition stages. Within language acquisition children also develop morphological grammatical inflections. One grammatical inflection that children acquire as they are learning the language is the plural {-s} inflection. Children also develop the various phonological plural allomorphs in the process of language acquisition. In this paper I will discuss the acquisition of language, plural {-s} inflection and the development of phonological plural allomorphs.Children's language usually develops in a systematic and sequential process. The early years of language development can be categorized into four main stages and these include, the prelinguistic stage, the holophrastic stage, the pivot-label stage, and the telegraphic stage. The first stage of language acquisition is the prelinguistic stage. This stage develop during the first 10 to 13 months of life, when children are in the prelinguistic stage of language development they are incapable of combining sounds to form words. According to Anisfeld, author of the book Language Development From Birth to Three, children that are at the prelinguistic communicate by crying, cooing, and babbling. Although children may differ in ages at which they move from one stage of vocalization to another, the overall sequence is roughly the same for practically all prelinguistic infants (Anisfeld, 1984). The second stage of language acquisition is the holophrastic stage. This stage begins between 12 to 18 months and babies utter single recognizable word called holophrase. In English, some first common words are "mama", "daddy", "bye-bye" and "no" (Anisfeld, 1984). The most significant aspect of this speech is that the child is using this single word to represent an entire sentence. For example, "mama" may mean "Mommy please pick me up." The third stage of language acquisition is the Pivot-label stage. The pivot-label stage begins at about 18 months to 24 months. This stage refers to the two-word stage of language acquisition. Similar to the holophrase, the two words uttered by the child represent an entire sentence. For example, "my ball" may mean "Mommy I want to play." The last language acquisition is the telegraphic stage. This stage occurs between 24 to 36 months and the child uses three or more words to represent adult speech. According to Anisfed, "the telegraphic speech of children retains appropriate semantic elements but omits functional words such, prepositions, conjunctions and articles." (p. 47) For example, a child at this...

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