ERIC Number: ED111174
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Styles of Syntactic Acquisition.
Ramer, Andrya L. H.
A longitudinal study investigated early syntactic forms in child language; this paper reports on findings dealing with differences in approach to syntactic acquisition. Seven children aged 16-20 months were the subjects, and audio or video tapes were made once every three weeks beginning prior to the development of syntax. Data collection continued until 20 percent of the utterances specified a combination of subject + verb + complement. Analysis showed that the greatest difference among children was the length of time required to develop from the single word utterance to the subject + verb + complement structure--varying from 2 1/2 to 9 months. This reinforces the notion that speed of language acquisition varies considerably among children. It is noted that girls' syntactic development was considerably more rapid than boys'. Differences in syntactic acquisition based on speed and gender may be related to style differences in language development. Style differences between slow and rapid developers are examined in terms of presyntactic utterances, simplicity and complexity of utterance, indeterminate constructions not meeting English word order constraints, and subject and predicate specification. All factors showed a definite pattern relating to speed of syntactic acquisition. (CHK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech and Hearing Association (Las Vegas, Nevada, Nov. 5-8, 1974). Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility or original document