Resources for Communication Problems

Thursday, January 3, 2008



Biological Function of Language:p302~p304

Biological Foundations of Language:p302~p304


First paragraph: If phrase structure …missing! Anybody takes care of this???Make sure!!!

(7)The Development of Some Specific Syntatic Mechanisms

(a)Questions and Negations. In English, the construction of these forms is around the auxiliary verb.a peculiarity of our language that introduces a certain amount of complexity,comparable in degree to the intricate systerm of inflections encountered in the so-called poly-synthetic languages.For a technical treatment of thesr constructions in Englush see Katz and Postal(1964),Klima(1964),Chomsky(1965).

Although the growing child hears correct sentences of this type in abundance, he will, at first, produce utterances such as the following:

No Mommy eat

No a boy bad

I ride train?

What cowboy doing?

Where my milk go? (Bellugi.1966)

Even when he is asked to reprat a correctly formed sentence such as”Dog don’t like it!” or “Are you coming?” or “Where did he go ?”the child will reat “Dog no like it (no dog like it),””You coming?”or “Where he go?”This connot be attributed to a general inability to produce utterances of no more than four words.Even longer uttera-

ces occeur spontaneously and the uncommon,primitive forms also occur when the model sentence has only three woeds: “Are you coming?”Bellugi(1966) has carried out the most sophisticated and careful analysis of the development of questions.Her

findings may be summarizes as follows: at first a string of woeds may turn into a question by casting it into a specific intonation pattern (a gradual rise in pitch),and negatives are simply expressed by prefixing a no to the string.Bellugi found that at this time the child gives no evidence of understanding the construction of certain types of questions.At a second stage, it becomes apparent that such complex constructions are understood (the child begims to give proper answers to respective questions), but in the child’s own productions the only interrogative makers are still either a rise in intonation(for questions that demand a yes/no amswer) or the initial occurrence of a question word(what,where,how,etc.).The third stage,occurring some ten months after the child has begun to form two-word utterances,is characterized by a further change: auxiliary verbs become functional and at the same time-formed questions and negative sentences make their appearance. In one of Bellugi’s subjects,

the third stage was foreshadowed by the introduction of a stereotyped’preverb’“Do-you-want,”which was simply placed before the common type of utterance. forming such strings as”Do you want me get it?” “Do (you) want he walk like this?”

The most impressive aspect of these investigations was that all three children followed by Bellugi and Roger Brown’s groupacquired the auxiliary system relatively

Late in their language development.When it was finally acquired, it was soon applied to most sentences in which it was appropriate, quickly superseding the more primitive constructions.Furthermore,Bellugi noted that at the beginning of the third stage there seemed to be a limited number of transformational operations that the child could perform on a single given string. Thus, if a negative plus a question was to be compounded in a single utterance, only one or the other aspect was well-formed. Thus, one of the children asked properly,”Can’t it be a bigger truck?”but failed to make the proper inversion in the queation,”Why the kitty can’t stand up?”

(b)Inflectional endings.In school grammar the study of inflection is called morphology and is treated separately from syntax, which is thought to be primarily the study of word order.However,moder theory of grammar has made it clear that there is no essential difference among the so-called morphological and syntactic phenomena. Goodobservations have been made on the various steps toward normalization of inflectional endings which deserve a quick review.

The first occurrence of past tense is not signaled by a verb plus the suffix-ed (or its phonetic correlates) but various past-tense forms of the so-called strong verbs(or irregular verbs),particularly went,was,and were.but also an occasional took,gave,etc.At a later stage the past tense morpheme/ed/appears but now is generalized also to those

Forms where it does not occur in the adult grammer;this may now result in forms such as goed,as well as wented,gived,etc.Such errors persist for a very long time and may often extend into the first grades of school.Deviations of this kind are most informative.Apparently pastness is first learned as a semantic phenomenon,and it it most saliently labeled in the case of the linguistically ancient suppletive forms in which the word for the past is phonetically totally different from the present.Once the semantic past is linked to the –ed forms, a rule is generated and then applied universally. This process of overgeneralization was studied experimentally by Berko (1958) who induced childrenof four years and older to change spontaneously nonsen-

se words into plural,past tence,third person singular,and possessive gorms.By this age the basic inflectional mechanisms appear to be very well-established,although some age-grading exists in the use of correct phonetic variants (allomorphs).

R. Brown and Bellugi(personal communication),Leopold(1953-1954),and several others have noted that it takes a relatively long timeuntil the plural s is established

, although this is usually accomplished by the third bitherday. This is difficult to explain.Grammatical agreement within a sentence is accounted for by supposing that the elements in subject of sentence fall into two distinct subclasses-singular and plural

.Chomsky has shown that grammatical agreement is possible if we suppose that there is an obligatory ordering of rules for the expansion of elements.In fact,all rules of generative grammar have an order of application.The child’s difficulty with pluralization can’t be due simplt to lack of attention or insufficient phonetic in the adult language,because pluralization do occur a long period of time,but they are not in agreement with other parts of the sentence.

摘要 9580048 許舒琇


助動詞在英文的結構中有很大的複雜性,很多的形式或結構都依靠它建立,就像是在多數合成的語言中使用轉音變調的系統。Kate and Postal(1964), Klima(7964),Chomsky(1965)在英文尚有獨特的見解:雖然兒童發展上可聽見大量不同形式的聲音,起初他會跟著複述:No money eat,No a boy bad……等等,當它需要回覆正確一個改正過後的句子像”Dog do not like it ”






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