The Acquisition of Syntax

Topics: Syntax, Grammar, Linguistics Pages: 4 (1037 words) Published: September 29, 2013
English 123- Introduction to Linguistics
Instructor: Mrs. Arlyn Larida
Topic: No. 40 The Aquisition of Syntax
Student: Jeraijah Rose C. Villarito

holophrastic [ˌhɒləˈfræstɪk] adj.
1. (Linguistics) denoting the stage in a child's acquisition of syntax when most utterances are single words 2. (Linguistics) (of languages) tending to express in one word what would be expressed in several words in other languages; polysynthetic [from holo- + Greek phrastikos expressive, from phrazein to express] Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003 Holophrastic Stage

Experimental techniques show that at this stage (and even earlier), children have knowledge of some syntactic rules. Results show that children as young as seventeen months can understand the difference between sentences. The child doesn’t rely on the word alone to understand the meanings, he also understands the word- order rules and how they determine grammatical relations of subject and object. The words in this stage serve three major functions. First, they are linked with a child’ own action or desire for action. Second, they are used to convey emotions. Third, they serve a naming function. *These results and many others strongly suggest that children’s syntactic competence is ahead their productive abilities, which is also how their phonology develops. The Two-Word Utterances:

Babies begin to produce two- word utterances which can show different combination of word order In this stage, the words lack morphological and syntactic markers but we can notice that there is a word order. These early utterances can express a variety of semantic and syntactic relations. Noun + Noun sentences such as Mommy sock can express a Subject + Object relation in the situation when the mother is putting the sock on the child, or a possessive relation when the child is pointing to Mommy’s...
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