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

"Variable forms are difficult to acquire". Discuss Until the late 1960's it was still the largely subscribed view that children's language acquisition was, on the main part, innate and occurred independently

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Variable forms are difficult to acquire". Discuss Until the late 1960's it was still the largely subscribed view that children's language acquisition was, on the main part, innate and occurred independently from the social context and surroundings in which the child was brought up. However there have been movements in recent years to account for the effects that parents and other caregivers have on the linguistic development of a child (Romaine, 1986: 159). This paper intends to briefly look at the standard accepted view of acquisition of variation; the variationist view, which considers the social context; and to place these viewpoints into a current frame of reference by examining some contemporary studies. It intends to examine the studies in relation to acquisition of variable forms in early childhood and in adolescence. The mainstream view of acquisition of variation is that during the early years of childhood, the main period of acquisition, most of the linguistic input comes from the primary care givers, i.e. the mother and father. For this reason "motherese" has long been the main focus of first language acquisition studies (Kerswill, 1996:181). The conventional view of first language acquisition is that during the first year of life a child will gain control over their speech organs and begin to acquire speech patterns. ...read more.

Middle

where data was collected from three children of pre school age in Trinidad. The data was analysed for stylistic variation between the Trinidad Creole, TC, and Standard English, SE, in the Verb Phrase which shows marked differences between TC and SE. It was shown that all three children shifted their speech style according to situation and addressee; more formal situations such as when the child was at school or during an interview required more use of the SE forms but informal situations such as when the child was at play or in a relaxed environment allow for the use of variants from TC (Youssef, 1993:257-274). This supports the idea that children learn to use variable forms at the same time as they learn to use the standard variant. Not only this they learn which is appropriate in which situation at the same time. The variationist view of acquisition of variation also supports the view that "the dialect transmission period begins early - before the age of maximal peer group influence" (Roberts, 1997b:249). This means that a child growing up in a particular speech community will in turn speak like that community, following its rules and speaking with its dialect. ...read more.

Conclusion

From this they also learn which variant is appropriate in which social situation. At this early stage children acquire new variants with relative ease. After this stage children move into formal education and start to use more of the dialectal variants, they become distinct from their parents in their norm use. At this stage children are still able to acquire some variant forms, rules and oppositions but this is much more difficult than it was previously. Once children reach the age of adolescence they struggle to acquire new forms despite adapting their speech style to be like the social group they have aligned themselves with. After the age of sixteen, at the very latest, they are considered adults in terms of language acquisition. The only changes which take place from now on are word changes. This paper has examined standard accepted view of acquisition of variation and the variationist view; it has looked at the contemporary studies in relation to acquisition of variable forms in early childhood and in adolescence. From the evidence examined it can be concluded that variable forms are easily acquired in early childhood, during the first stage of language acquisition. As the children age it becomes increasingly difficult form them to acquire the different forms and by the age of sixteen they no longer have the ability to acquire variant forms. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Psychology 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 University Degree Social Psychology essays

  1. Is 'Adolescence turmoil' fact or fiction? Discuss?

    that the average adolescent is not in major conflict with their parents even though there appears to be some form of turmoil.

  2. Discuss the statement that adolescence is a period of Storm and Stress.

    audience; the feeling of constant scrutiny, the personal fable; regarding one's thoughts and feelings as unique, self-consciousness and feelings of invulnerability; which can lead to risk-taking behaviour. This egocentric thinking of early adolescence is diminishes by sixteen due to shared experience with their peers.

  1. Despite its numerous critics, labelling theory has many supporters. Outline the main principles of ...

    of labelling, "In short, it is easy to assume that subsequent deviance constitutes an effect of labelling as well as being evidence that labelling has occurred.

  2. Attachment Theory: Early childhood attachment and its influence on adult romantic relationships

    Finally, according to Ainsworth et al. (1978), the avoidant style of attachment typified infants who avoided their caregiver and displayed signs of disinterest when distressed. Plainly, the work of Ainsworth et al. (1978), suggests there are at least three distinguishable attachment styles and response modalities utilized by infants in relation to their caregivers.

  1. How influential are parents' child-rearing styles on the development of their children?

    Passive permissiveness and overprotectiveness both lead to dependent children. Uninvolved parents tend to have children who are neglected which means they have attachment, cognition and emotional problems. They lack in social skills and are more likely to be aggressive. Parents who switch between authoritarian and uninvolved styles are especially aggressive, irresponsible and do badly in school (Berk, 2000).

  2. How important are ethics and social responsibility?

    In addition to differences in the educational background of the managers, the lack of conceptual equivalence can also be attributed to: �The educational systems and curricula in the four countries being different. �Differences in the extent to which ethics is required to be emphasized in the curriculum content across different

  1. Genetic and environmental influence in human development.…. Discuss.

    Evidence for this belief came in the form of Hinde ('77) and his work on Rhesus monkeys. However Paykel ('81) reviewed fourteen animal experiments and concluded that seven provided evidence for Bowlby's claim and seven did not. It should be mentioned that it is perhaps unwise to attribute results found

  2. Evaluation of qualitiative paper - phenomenology

    Ethically, the author states that following an explanation of purpose, informed, written consent was obtained from all participants in the study. There is anonymity for the participants in terms if identification in the published study, and although some direct quotes are given, gender is the only identifying information is supplied.

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