Language Development In the Child
SOMETIME DURING THE SECOND HALF of the second year of life, most children have begun to utter words that resemble those used by adults in their environment. The resemblance is along two dimensions: the words uttered by the child sound like those used by adults; the words are evoked in situations comparable to those in which adults would use them. The child has arrived at the productive end of symbol behavior. Earlier, perhaps as early as eight or nine months, many children learn to associate events and objects and persons with what they will much later learn to call arbitrary sound symbols. Some even learn to produce a few arbitrary sound combinations to identify and, much more importantly, to bring about certain events.
The child's first words almost always incorporate sounds he has made during his pre-lingual speech stages. According to Seth and Guthrie ( 1935, p. 92) "The child's first words are in part, at least, vocables of his own invention which are the direct outcome of the sounds of his babbling or lalling, especially insofar as his parents or nurses adopt them and help him to apply them to a meaning or psychological context."
Usually the child's early attempts at words are modified by the older members of the environment so that they become approximations if not precise replications of conventional words. In some instances, the mem
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Publication information: Book title: The Psychology of Communication. Contributors: Jon Eisenson - Author, J. Jeffery Auer - Author, John V. Irwin - Author. Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 203.
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