ERIC Number: ED101563
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Some Aspects of the Conceptual Basis for First Language Acquisition. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 7.
Clark, Eve V.
This paper studies aspects of the conceptual basis for language acquisition, with a focus on the perceptual-cognitive skills used to assign meanings to words. A first assumption is that the correspondence between adult and child perceptual features allows for early communication. Apparently, in the first year, naming is characterized by over-extension; this seems related to vocabulary growth. The role of perceptual information such as shape, movement, size, sound, taste, and texture is discussed. A second assumption, that the child has basic hypotheses about meaning that are negated by experience, is illustrated by studies on certain locative terms and adjective pairs. The conclusion is that conceptual factors, especially the interpretation of percepts, play a crucial role in language acquisition, and that early meanings can be accounted for in terms of hypotheses and the strategies derived from them. A final conclusion is that further study must be done on the relationship between cognitive-perceptual factors and other aspects of language acquisition, as well as on the relationship between general cognitive capacities and the ability to acquire language. (AM)
Descriptors: Child Language, Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Language Acquisition, Perceptual Development, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Sensory Integration, Speech, Syntax, Verbal Communication, Verbal Development, Vocabulary Development
University Park Press, Baltimore, Md. 21202 (In "Language Perspectives--Acquisition, Retardation and Intervention," R. L. Schiefelbusch and L. L. Lloyd, Eds.)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Committee on Linguistics.