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Language Acquisition - Essay Example

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Language Acquisition

On the other hand, the focus of child language research has been on the documentation of children's knowledge states at various points in development; with very little emphasis on how they process their language. This appears to be an area needing further investigation as, logically, children need also apply a meaningful analysis to their inputs in order to learn language. That is, acquisition necessarily implies that parser. This paper examines the aspect of difficulties and limitations encountered by children in using referential information while they deploy with ease lexical information to resolve syntactic ambiguities.
5 The main emphasis of the Psycholinguistic research has been on comprehending as to how adults interpret language in real time. Several authors (Trueswell & Tanenhaus, 1991; Tanenhaus, Spivey-Knowlton, Eberhard & Sedivy, 1995;Altmann & Steedman, 1988; Britt, 1994) have uncovered ,within this domain of examination a complex and interactive language
6 processing system capable of swift and almost instantaneous coordination of linguistic characteristics of the message with contextual or scene specific information. Trueswell et al (1999) investigated the moment by moment language learning process in children using a technique that involved recording eye movements, done deploying a head-mounted eye-tracking system to monitor eye movements, as participants responded to spoken instructions. This research found that," systematic differences in how children and adults process spoken language: Five Year Olds did not take into account relevant discourse/pragmatic principles when resolving temporary syntactic ambiguities, and showed little or no ability to revise initial parsing commitments. Adults showed sensitivity to these discourse constraints at the earliest possible stages of processing, and were capable of revising incorrect parsing commitments".(Trueswell et al,1999) This clearly indicates that children had trouble revising the comprehension deficiencies and had strictly limited abilities with referencing other knowledge sources to make good such deficiencies. After a series of subsequent experiments Trueswell & Gleitman (2004) concluded that," this pattern arises from a developing interactive parsing system. Under this account, adult and child sentence comprehension is a "perceptual guessing game" in which multiple statistical cues are used to recover detailed
linguistic structure. These cues, which include lexical-distribution evidence, verb semantic biases, and referential scene information, come "online" (become automated) at different points in the course of development. The developmental timing of these effects is related to their differential reliability and ease of detection in the input". These researchers also conclusively state that ," This finding could be interpreted as support for an early encapsulated ...Show more

Summary

4 Language acquisition commences from infancy and traverses the process of exploiting multiple probabilistic constraints over various types of linguistic and nonlinguistic information. The field of psycholinguistics is covered distinctly by two classes of studies one, pertaining to: language acquisition and the other pertaining to language processing…
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