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ERIC Number: ED116460
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Pragmatic Approach to Language Acquisition.
Olshewsky, Thomas M.
An extreme view of language acquisition sees base structures as innate, and acquisition of the grammar of a particular language as a process of learning the transformation rules needed to get from base structures to surface structures of adult native speakers. Base structures are understood to most resemble simple-active-affirmative-declarative sentences (SAADs) on the surface level. This has resulted in the treatment of SAADs as basic and normative, and other surface forms as derivative. This paper challenges this approach from a pragmatic standpoint, and attempts to explain units of linguistic expression as instruments to fulfill intentions. The propositional interpretation for linguisitc description is not considered to be a norm for acquisition. Work done by Tonkova-Yampol'skaya defines intonation as the beginning of speech development, the crux of that approach being the distinction between natural and intentional sounds. This natural/intentional distinction is drawn on the basis of relaxed as opposed to controlled articulation. The conclusion is that intentional articulation begins at the onset of the babbling stage and that request-demand and interrogation intonemes increasingly dominate infant speech in the second year. Suggestions as to how the transition occurs from initial speech patterns to SAAD forms are made, with specific reference to focus. (CLK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A