ERIC Number: EJ778710
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Language Input and Child Syntax
Huttenlocher, Janellen; Vasilyeva, Marina; Cymerman, Elina; Levine, Susan
Cognitive Psychology, v45 n3 p337-374 Nov 2002
Existing work on the acquisition of syntax has been concerned mainly with the early stages of syntactic development. In the present study we examine later syntactic development in children. Also, existing work has focused on commonalities in the emergence of syntax. Here we explore individual differences among children and their relation to variations in language input. In Study 1 we find substantial individual differences in children's mastery of multiclause sentences and a significant relation between those differences and the proportion of multiclause sentences in parent speech. We also find individual differences in the number of noun phrases in children's utterances and a significant relation between those differences and the number of noun phrases in parent speech. In Study 2 we find greater syntactic growth over a year of preschool in classes where teachers' speech is more syntactically complex. The implications of our findings for the understanding of the sources of syntactic development are discussed.
Descriptors: Sentences, Nouns, Syntax, Linguistic Input, Child Language, Language Acquisition, Individual Differences, Parent Child Relationship, Preschool Children, Teacher Student Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Sponsor: McCormick Tribune Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A