ERIC Number: ED041253
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Reference Count: 0
Who is "Dada?" Some Aspects of the Semantic and Phonological Development of a Child's First Words.
Greenfield, Patricia Marks
When sound takes on meaning for the first time in the life of a child, a giant and prototypic step in the development of his symbolic capacities has taken place. This step is worthy of careful scientific scrutiny. This paper seeks first to describe the steps by which the author's child discovered the existence of meaning in sound, and second, to describe the successive structurization and progressive refinement of this first word, as well as related lexical terms. It seems that once the predictive value of a word has been established by confirmatory events, it need not be retested each time the word appears. This is perhaps a first step towards the ability to make meaningful linguistic reference in the absence of a concrete, physical referent. This process, whereby language becomes increasingly independent of external events, will be carried even further when words come to be combined in sentences. At that point the semantic burden begins to shift from situational to linguistic context in both comprehension and speech. The combinatorial possibilities inherent in sentence formation yield that creative productivity which is the hallmark of the later freedom of language from external control. Thus, there is a striking developmental shift from outer to inner control of understanding and speaking. [Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document.] (Author/AMM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Educational Research and Development (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Lab. on Early Childhood Education, Syracuse, NY. Research and Development Center.