• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss And Evaluate The Role of Motherese in Acquiring A Language.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss And Evaluate The Role of Motherese in Acquiring A Language. The speaking style used by caretakers around the world when addressing infants is often called 'motherese' or 'parentese' (Ferguson, 1964). Motherese is the style of talking used by mothers when addressing their eighteen to twenty-four moth old toddlers and has been shown to be preferred over adult-directed speech by infants when given a choice (Fernald, 1985). Moreover, the exaggerated stress and increased pitch typical of infant-directed speech assists infants in discriminating phonetic units (Karzon, 1985). From birth, a child encounters an immediately facilitative environment allowing him/her to participate as a conversational partner and as the child's communicational behavior develops, the mother naturally attempts to persuade more verbal participation from the child by altering her own behavior. Initially the mother provides object names to the child's vocalisations but soon begins to request labels and by the middle of the child's second year the mother is requesting and labeling at an equal rate, establishing dialog. The mother helps to form the child's speech by distinctly distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable responses, ensuring the child's verbalisations are not direct imitations but responses to fit specific slots in the dialog. In order to aid learning the mother provides consistency, such as the amount of time devoted to dialog, the rate of confirmation and the probability of reciprocating (Bruner, 1978). Additionally, the mother modifies her speech and when taken together, are called motherese (Newport, Gleitman & Gleitman, 1977) ...read more.

Middle

They also present new words in a great variety of contexts, which would highlight the transitional probabilities of the new words against a variety of contexts (Goodsitt, 1993). This data suggests that the modifications made by adults unconsciously when they speak to infants plays a role in helping infants map native-language input. Motherese involves many re-casts by the adult. Re-casts occur when an adult repeats a child's speech, while adding complexity and expanding vocabulary. Re-casts expose the child to new forms and structures, while providing more fuel for language acquisition than would immediate imitation (Goodluck, 1986). An example of a re-cast is a child saying "up" whilst the mother follows with "yes, mummy will pick you up". In these re-casts there is also a tendency to avoid using personal pronouns such as "I" and "you" since both can be very confusing to the child. It is difficult for the child to recognise that "you" can be applied to more than one person hence, the parent most often than not refers to both herself and the child using the respective nouns "mummy" and "child" for example. In both English and French the amount of parental labeling or naming varies with the age and development of the child but a relationship still exists between the amount of adult labeling and the child's consequent growth in vocabulary (Graham & Sippola, 1995). Choi & Gopnik (1995) produced evidence to suggest that initial parental emphasis on nouns from Mandarin, Korean, Italian, and English is not universal although gesturing and use of noun labels in English decrease with development regardless. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, much remains to be learned about language acquisition however it can be deduced that motherese is beneficial to a child's acquisition of language regardless of whether it is completely necessary for language development or not. The aim of motherese may not be to teach language however it facilitates development through providing an opportunity for children to practice, improve, and enhance their language abilities. The caregiver's efforts combined with the child's own influences produce a suitable relationship for the input, feedback, acquisition and practice of language. Motherese may also serve to aid a child in the acquisition and comprehension of language particular rules which are otherwise largely unpredictable principles of universal grammar. However, factors such as socio-economic background, where toys promoting language utilasation cannot be bought will hinder the effects of motherese regardless of whether motherese is in effect or not; birth order, position in the family, and siblings also have an effect on early language development, this is because single children have a greater opportunity to communicate effectively with adults as compared to children with many siblings as may therefore develop language at a faster pace. Ethnicity, parents' mother tongue and parents' work hours are more examples of factors that directly affect the success motherese can have on children's language development. Consequently, for a child to fully benefit from the effects of motherese he/she must boast optimal conditions, if this is not possible, as is the case with many individuals, motherese may not act as beneficially as possible, however it will still serve to assist in language acquisition. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Child Development essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Child Development - Child Study

    4 star(s)

    Other sites were form links on trusted sites. I found the internet good, as detailed information on a subject, (such as nutrition), could be found easily rather than having to look through a lot of general information to find what I wanted.

  2. Child development - Study of a child

    She has a very extensive vocabulary. She can say her sentences but sometimes gets mixed up when saying some words. Her speech is more or less grammatically correct and she enjoys telling long stories but sometimes gets confused. Alanya has a good knowledge and she remembers things very well, her

  1. Why family structures are changing.

    One final physical need of John is fresh air and sun light, John needs these to ensure he will grow up properly, because if he is continually stuck in the house he will be breathing the same air which might not be that good for him as it can have infections in it from other family members.

  2. Health, Social Care and Early years provisions.

    Like I have explained before, the residents may have a lot of serious affects occur after they have been made aware that they will have to leave their home. Because they can become more distressed, upset it will mean that it is harder for the staff to make them feel content.

  1. Compare the use of fantasy in 'The Poor Relation's Story' and 'Superman and Paula ...

    a spare dull kind, and my garret chamber was as dull, and bare and cold, as an upper prison room in some stern northern fortress." Just from this single extended sentence, we can begin to construct an image of this person's life.

  2. An analysis of language features present in

    For instance the first paragraph of the section I have chosen to analyse takes up over three quarters of the page; such a large block of text is not only difficult for the child to follow with their eyes but it is also daunting.

  1. The main aim of this paper is to compare and contrast parental rights and ...

    These rights include the power to control education, the choice of religion, the administration of the infant's property, entitlement to veto the issue of a passport and the entitlement to withhold consent to marriage. He or she also has the right to consent to medical treatment affecting the child and to chastise the child.

  2. the human lifespan

    Grow taller and heavier, Menstruation (periods) start, develop breast, hips broaden and shape changes, grow public and Underarm hair, sweat a lot, oily skin may result in spots. Intellectual They are rapid changes in the mind as well as the body.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work